Practice Relating to Rule 128. Release and Return of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Note: For practice concerning amnesty for participation in armed conflict, see Rule 159.
Hague Regulations (1899)
Article 20 of the 1899 Hague Regulations provides: “After the conclusion of peace, the repatriation of prisoners of war shall take place as speedily as possible.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 29 July 1899, Article 20.
Hague Regulations (1907)
Article 20 of the 1907 Hague Regulations provides: “After the conclusion of peace, the repatriation of prisoners of war shall be carried out as quickly as possible.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 20.
Geneva Convention III
Article 109, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides: “Parties to the conflict are bound to send back to their own country, regardless of number or rank, seriously wounded and seriously sick prisoners of war.” The second paragraph provides: “Throughout the duration of hostilities, Parties to the conflict shall endeavour, with the co-operation of the neutral Powers concerned, to make arrangements for the accommodation in neutral countries of the sick and wounded prisoners of war.” 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 109, first and second paras.
Geneva Convention III
Article 118, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides: “Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.” 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 118.
Article 119 contains the details of procedure. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 119.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 132 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Each interned person shall be released by the Detaining Power as soon as the reasons which necessitated his internment no longer exist.
The Parties to the conflict shall, moreover, endeavour during the course of hostilities, to conclude agreements for the release, the repatriation, the return to places of residence or the accommodation in a neutral country of certain classes of internees, in particular children, pregnant women and mothers with infants and young children, wounded and sick, and internees who have been detained for a long time. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 132.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 133 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Internment shall cease as soon as possible after the close of hostilities.
Internees in the territory of a Party to the conflict, against whom penal proceedings are pending for offences not exclusively subject to disciplinary penalties, may be detained until the close of such proceedings and, if circumstances require, until the completion of the penalty. The same shall apply to internees who have been previously sentenced to a punishment depriving them of liberty. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 133.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 134 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour, upon the close of hostilities or occupation, to ensure the return of all internees to their last place of residence, or to facilitate their repatriation.” 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 134.
Article 135 deals with the costs of the return. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 135.
Panmunjom Armistice Agreement
Article III(51)(a) of the 1953 Panmunjom Armistice Agreement provides: “Within sixty (60) days after this Armistice Agreement becomes effective, each side shall, without offering any hindrance, directly repatriate and hand over in groups all those prisoners of war in its custody who insist on repatriation to the side to which they belonged at the time of capture.” Article III(53) adds: “All the sick and injured prisoners of war who insist upon repatriation shall be repatriated with priority.” 
Agreement between the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, on the other hand, concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, Panmunjom, 27 July 1953, Article III(51)(a) and (53).
Paragraph I(1) of the Annex to the Agreement further sets the terms of reference of a Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission established “in order to ensure that all prisoners of war have the opportunity to exercise their right to be repatriated following an armistice”. 
Agreement between the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, on the other hand, concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, Panmunjom, 27 July 1953, Annex, § I(1).
Joint Declaration on Soviet-Japanese Relations
Paragraph 5 of the 1956 Joint Declaration on Soviet-Japanese Relations states:
On the entry into force of this Joint Declaration, all Japanese citizens convicted in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shall be released and repatriated to Japan. With regard to those Japanese whose fate is unknown, the USSR, at the request of Japan, will continue its effort to discover what has happened to them. 
Joint Declaration by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Japan concerning the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Moscow, 19 October 1956, § 5.
Protocol to the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam
Article 4 of the 1973 Protocol to the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam provided that the return of all captured military personnel and civilians from the various parties concerned “shall be completed within 60 days of the signing of the Agreement … Persons who are seriously ill, wounded or maimed, old persons and women shall be returned first.” 
Protocol on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam concerning the Return of Captured Military Personnel and Foreign Civilians and Captured and Detained Vietnamese Personnel, signed on behalf of the United States of America, the Republic of Viet-Nam, the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Viet-Nam, Paris, 27 January 1973, Article 4.
Article 6 provides that “each party shall return all captured persons … without delay”.  
Protocol on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam concerning the Return of Captured Military Personnel and Foreign Civilians and Captured and Detained Vietnamese Personnel, signed on behalf of the United States of America, the Republic of Viet-Nam, the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Viet-Nam, Paris, 27 January 1973, Article 6.
Agreement on Repatriation of Detainees between Bangladesh, India and Pakistan
In the 1974 Agreement on Repatriation of Detainees between Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, the three governments agreed to facilitate the return of detainees in order to make further progress in the process of “reconciliation and normalisation among the countries of the sub-continent”. 
Agreement on the Repatriation of Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees between Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, New Delhi, 9 April 1974.
Additional Protocol I
Under Article 85(4)(b) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, an “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians” is a grave breach of the Protocol. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 85(4)(b). Article 85 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 291.
Esquipulas II Accords
The 1987 Esquipulas II Accords stated: “Simultaneously with the issuance of the decrees of amnesty, the irregular forces of the country concerned shall release all persons in their power.” 
Procedure for the Establishment of a Firm and Lasting Peace in Central America, signed by the Presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Guatemala City, 7 August 1987, annexed to Letter dated 27 August 1987 from the permanent representatives of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/42/521-S/19085, 31 August 1987.
CIS Agreement on the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflicts
Article 4 of the 1993 CIS Agreement on the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflicts provides:
The Parties will take immediate coordinated measures to protect people unlawfully detained for reasons related to the armed conflict, regardless of whether they are interned or detained, and also in order to ensure return of POWs [prisoners of war] and the unconditional release of hostages. 
Agreement on Primary Measures for Protection of Victims of Armed Conflicts, Commonwealth of Independent States, Moscow, 24 September 1993, Article 4.
Agreement on the Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement annexed to the Dayton Accords
In Article IX of the 1995 Agreement on the Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement annexed to the Dayton Accords, the parties agreed to “release and transfer all combatants and civilians held in relation to the conflict … in conformity with international humanitarian law”. All prisoners were to be released and transferred no later than 30 days after the passing of authority from UNPROFOR to IFOR. 
General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Annex 1A, Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement, signed by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, Dayton, 22 November 1995, Article IX.
Peace Agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea
Article 2(1) and (2) of the 2000 Peace Agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea provides:
In fulfilling their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the parties shall without delay, release and repatriate all prisoners of war, … release and repatriate or return to their last place of residence all other persons detained as a result of the armed conflict. 
Agreement between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the State of Eritrea, Algiers, 12 December 2000, also known as the Algiers Agreement, Article 2(1) and (2).
Convention on Enforced Disappearance
The 2006 Convention on Enforced Disappearance provides:
Recalling … relevant international instruments in the fields of human rights, humanitarian law and international criminal law,
Article 21
Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure that persons deprived of liberty are released in a manner permitting reliable verification that they have actually been released. Each State Party shall also take the necessary measures to assure the physical integrity of such persons and their ability to exercise fully their rights at the time of release, without prejudice to any obligations to which such persons may be subject under national law. 
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 61/177, 20 December 2006, Annex, Preamble and Article 21.
Lieber Code
Article 119 of the 1863 Lieber Code provides: “Prisoners of war may be released from captivity by exchange, and, under certain circumstances, also by parole.” Article 123 specifies, however: “Release of prisoners of war by exchange is the general rule; release by parole is the exception.” 
Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Order No. 100 by President Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., 24 April 1863, Articles 119 and 123.
Oxford Manual
Article 75 of the 1880 Oxford Manual provides: “Prisoners of war may be released in accordance with a cartel of exchange, agreed upon by the belligerent parties.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 75.
Oxford Manual
Article 76 of the 1880 Oxford Manual provides: “Prisoners may be set at liberty on parole, if the laws of their country do not forbid it.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 76.
Tripoli Agreement
The 1976 Tripoli Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front provides:
Cease-fire shall be declared immediately after the signature of this agreement, provided that its coming into effect should not exceed the 20th January 1977. A Joint Committee shall be composed of the two parties with the help of the Organization of the Islamic Conference represented by the Quadripartite Ministerial Commission to supervise the implementation of the cease-fire.
The said Joint Committee shall also be charged with supervising the following:
a. A complete amnesty in the areas of the autonomy and the renunciation of all legal claims and codes resulting from events which took place in the South of the Philippines.
b. The release of all the political prisoners who had relations with the events in the South of the Philippines. 
Tripoli Agreement, Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front with the Participation of the Quadripartite Ministerial Commission Members of the Islamic Conference and the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Tripoli, 23 December 1976, § 12(a)–(b).
Government of El Salvador-FMLN Agreement on Human Rights
In paragraph 3 of the 1990 Government of El Salvador-FMLN Agreement on Human Rights, the parties agreed that, in the course of negotiations, appropriate legal procedures and timetables would be determined for the release of individuals who had been imprisoned for political reasons. 
Agreement on Human Rights between the Government of El Salvador and the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional, San José, 26 July 1990, annexed to Note verbale dated 14 August 1990 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/44/971-S/21541, 16 August 1990, § 3.
ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1991)
Pursuant to Article 22(2)(a) of the 1991 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, an “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war after the cessation of hostilities” is an “exceptionally serious war crime”. 
Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, adopted by the International Law Commission, reprinted in Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-third session, 29 April–19 July 1991, UN Doc. A/46/10, 1991, Article 22(2)(a).
Final Act of the Paris Conference on Cambodia
Article 21 of the 1991 Final Act of the Paris Conference on Cambodia requested that the ICRC facilitate, in accordance with its principles, the release of prisoners of war and civilian internees. The release of all prisoners and civilian internees was to be accomplished at the earliest possible date. Article 22 defined the expression “civilian internee” as “all persons who are not POWs [prisoners of war] and who, having contributed in any way whatsoever to the armed or political struggle, have been arrested or detained by any of the parties by virtue of their contribution thereto”. 
Final Act of the Paris Conference on Cambodia, Paris, 30 July–30 August 1989 and 21–23 October 1991, Articles 21 and 22.
Peace Accords between the Government of Angola and UNITA
Under Paragraph II.3 of the 1991 Peace Accords between the Government of Angola and UNITA, all civilian and military prisoners held by either party were to be released. 
Peace Accords between the Government of Angola and União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola, Lisbon, 1 May 1991, also known as Bicesse Accords, annexed to Letter dated 17 May 1991 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Angola to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/22609, 17 May 1991, § II.3.
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Release and Repatriation of Prisoners
Paragraph 1 of the 1992 Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Release and Repatriation of Prisoners provides: “All prisoners visited by the ICRC and mentioned on the ICRC list appearing in Annex A shall be released in an operation which will take place under ICRC supervision in Nemetin on August 14, 1992.” 
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the implementation of the July 1992 Agreement on the Release and Repatriation of Prisoners, Budapest, 7 August 1992, § 1.
Agreement No. 2 between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Implementation of the Agreement of 22 May 1992
Agreement No. 2 between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Implementation of the Agreement of 22 May 1992 provided that a Commission, consisting of four liaison officers appointed by the parties, would be created under the auspices of the ICRC and “assume the following tasks: (a) exchange lists and take the necessary steps with a view to release prisoners”. 
Agreement No. 2 between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community) on the implementation of the Agreement of 22 May 1992, Geneva, 23 May 1992.
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners (July 1992)
Paragraph 2 of the Agreement on the Exchange of Prisoners between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia (July 1992) provided: “The release and repatriation of all prisoners shall take place without delay.” 
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners, reached under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, 28–29 July 1992, § 2.
Agreement between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners
Article 3(1) of the 1992 Agreement between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners provides: “All prisoners not accused of, or sentenced for, grave breaches of International Humanitarian Law … will be unilaterally and unconditionally released.” 
Agreement on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners, concluded between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representative of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Mate Boban (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 1 October 1992, Article 3(1).
Article 10 of the Agreement provides: “Any prisoner released in or transferred to an area other than that of his or her former residence retains the right to return home at a later stage if he or she wishes to do so.” 
Agreement on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners, concluded between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representative of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Mate Boban (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 1 October 1992, Article 10.
General Peace Agreement for Mozambique
Part III of Protocol VI of the 1992 General Peace Agreement for Mozambique specified that all prisoners being held, except those convicted for ordinary crimes, should be released by the parties. 
General Peace Agreement for Mozambique, along with seven Protocols and four related documents, Rome, 4 October 1992, annexed to Letter dated 6 October 1992 from the Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the UN addressed to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/24635, 8 October 1992, Protocol VI, Part III.
N’Sele Ceasefire Agreement
The 1992 N’Sele Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front provides:
Article II
The cease-fire shall imply:
4. The release of all prisoners-of-war; the effective release of all persons arrested because and as a result of this war within five days following the entry into force of the Cease-fire Agreement. 
N’Sele Ceasefire Agreement of 29th March, 1991 between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front, as amended in Gbadolite on 16th September, 1991 and at Arusha on 12th July, 1992, Article II(4), as annexed to the Arusha Peace Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front, Arusha, 4 August 1993, Article II.
Cotonou Agreement on Liberia
Article 10 of the 1993 Cotonou Agreement on Liberia provided that all prisoners of war and detainees should immediately be released. Ordinary criminals were not covered by this provision. 
Cotonou Peace Agreement on Liberia between the Interim Government of National Unity of Liberia (IGNU) of the first part and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) of the second part and the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) of the third part, Cotonou, 25 July 1993, annexed to Letter dated 6 August 1993 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Benin to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/26272, 9 August 1993, Article 10.
Afghan Peace Accord
Article 5 of the 1993 Afghan Peace Accord provided that there should be immediate release of all detainees held by the government and different parties during the armed hostilities. 
Peace Accord between the Islamic State of Afghanistan, Harkat-e-Inqilab-e-Islami, Mahaz-e-Milli, Harkat-e-Islami, Hizbe-e-Islami, Jabha-e-Nijat-e-Milli, Ahmadzai Ittehad-e-Islami and Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami, Islamabad, 7 March 1993, annexed to Letter dated 10 March 1993 from the permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/25398, 11 March 1993, Article 5.
ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1996)
Under Article 20(c)(ii) of the 1996 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war” is a war crime.  
Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, adopted by the International Law Commission, reprinted in Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-eighth session, 6 May–26 July 1996, UN Doc. A/51/10, 1996, Article 20(c)(ii).
Moscow Agreement on a Cease-fire in Chechnya
Under Article 2 of the 1996 Moscow Agreement on a Cease-fire in Chechnya, the parties to the conflict in Chechnya agreed on certain modalities of liberating all persons being retained by force. The term “persons being retained by force” was to be understood as participants in the armed conflict who had been arrested, hostages and other civilian persons who had been detained, including those arrested at roadblocks, without the presentation of charges of accusation, or those to whom up to 27 May 1996 (the date of the cease-fire agreement) no charges or accusation had been presented within the time periods established by law. The working groups were to exchange lists of forcibly detained persons within a day of the agreement and the release of unlawfully detained persons was to commence immediately. 
Protocol of the Meeting of the Working Group on the Question of a Settlement of the Armed Conflict on the Territory of the Chechen Republic, Moscow, 28 May 1996, Article 2.
Lomé Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire
The 2002 Lomé Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire on the release of civilian and military prisoners provides:
The Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire (MPCI),
Deploring the capture by their respective forces of numerous civilian and military prisoners of war and desiring to alleviate their suffering;
Agree upon the following:
1. The civilian and military prisoners detained in the context of the hostilities which started on 19 September 2002 are released by each of the parties detaining them. 
Lomé Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire, Peace talks at Lomé, First agreement on the release of civilian and military prisoners between the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire (Mouvement Patriotique de Côte d’Ivoire – MPCI), Lomé, 1 November 2002, preamble and § 1.
Linas-Marcoussis Agreement between the political forces of Côte d’Ivoire
The 2003 Linas-Marcoussis Agreement between the political forces of Côte d’Ivoire provides:
1) At the invitation of the President of the French Republic, a Round Table of the Ivorian political forces met in Linas-Marcoussis from 15 to 23 January 2003. It brought together the following parties FPI, MFA, MJP, MPCI, MPIGO, PDCI-RDA, PIT, RDR, UDCY, UDPCI … The delegations have shown high-mindedness to allow the Round Table to bring the positions closer together and to arrive at the following consensus, all elements of which – principles and annexes – have equal value:
2) The Round Table welcomes the cessation of hostilities, made possible and guaranteed by the deployment of the ECOWAS forces, supported by the French forces, and demands strict respect for it … It demands the immediate release of all political prisoners.
3) The Round Table reaffirms the need to preserve the territorial integrity of Côte d’Ivoire, respect for its institutions and to restore the authority of the State … It therefore agrees on the following provisions:
i- The government of national reconciliation shall take the necessary measures for the release and amnesty of all military detained for attack on the security of the State and shall have soldiers in exile benefit from the same measure.
Annex
VII – Reintegration, Disarmament, Demobilization
5. The government of national reconciliation shall take the necessary measures for the release and amnesty of all military detained for attacks on the security of the State and shall have soldiers in exile benefit from the same measure. 
Linas-Marcoussis Agreement between the political forces of Côte d’Ivoire, Round table of the Ivorian political forces, meeting at Linas-Marcoussis from 15 to 23 January 2003 and bringing together the following parties: FPI (Front Populaire Ivoirien), MFA (Mouvement des Forces d’Avenir), MJP (Mouvement pour la Justice et la Paix), MPCI (Mouvement Patriotique de Côte d’Ivoire), MPIGO (Mouvement Populaire Ivoirien du Grand Ouest), PDCI-RDA (Parti Démocratique de la Côte d’Ivoire-Rassemblement Démocratique Africain), PIT (Parti Ivoirien des Travailleurs), RDR (Rassemblement des Républicains), UDCY (Union Démocratique et Citoyenne), UDPCI (Union pour la Démocratie et la Paix en Côte d’Ivoire), Linas-Marcoussis, 24 January 2003, Text of the agreement, §§ 1, 2 and 3(i), and Annex, § VII(5).
Accra Agreement II between the political forces of Côte d’Ivoire signatory to the Agreement of Linas-Marcoussis
The 2003 Accra Agreement II between the political forces of Côte d’Ivoire signatory to the Agreement of Linas-Marcoussis provides:
At the invitation of His Excellency Mr John Agyekum Kufour, President of the Republic of Ghana, incumbent Chairman of ECOWAS, a Round Table of the Ivorian political forces signatory to the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement met in Accra on 6 and 7 March 2003.
The following groups participated in that Round Table: FPI, MFA, MJP, MPCI, MPIGO, PDCI-RDA, PIT, RDR, UDCY, UDPCI.
The Round Table reaffirms its will to adhere to the Marcoussis agreement, unanimously considered as a sustainable framework for the resolution of the Ivorian crisis.
… It equally demands the immediate release of all political prisoners. And prisoners of war. 
Accra Agreement II between the political forces of Côte d’Ivoire signatory to the Agreement of Linas-Marcoussis, Round table of the Ivorian political forces signatory to the Agreement of Linas-Marcoussis, meeting at Accra on 6 and 7 March 2003, Accra, 7 March 2003, preamble.
N’Djamena Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement
Article 5 of the 2004 N’Djamena Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement states: “The parties have decided to free all the prisoners of war and all other persons detained because of the armed conflict in Darfur.” 
Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement on the Conflict in Darfur, signed by the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, the African Union and the Chadian Mediation, N’Djamena, 8 April 2004, Article 5.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969), referring to Article 118 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III, provides: “Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 2.098.
Referring to Article 109 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III, the manual states: “Parties to the conflict are bound to send back to their own country, regardless of number or rank, seriously wounded and seriously sick prisoners of war, after having cared for them until they are fit to travel.” According to the manual, the following should be repatriated directly:
(1) Incurably wounded and sick whose mental or physical fitness seems to have been gravely diminished;
(2) Wounded and sick who, according to medical opinion, are not likely to recover within one year, whose condition requires treatment and whose mental or physical fitness seems to have been gravely diminished;
(3) Wounded and sick who have recovered, but whose mental or physical fitness seems to have been gravely and permanently diminished. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 2.091.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) states: “Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without any delay after the cessation of the hostilities.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 3.32.
Referring to Articles 109 and 110 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III, the manual states: “The Parties to the conflict have the obligation, regardless of number or rank, to repatriate seriously wounded and seriously sick prisoners of war.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 3.31.
The manual identifies grave breaches of Article 85 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I as war crimes. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 8.03.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “PWs [prisoners of war] are to be repatriated immediately to their own country at the conclusion of the hostilities.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1045.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “PW [prisoners of war] are to be repatriated immediately to their own country at the conclusion of hostilities.” 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 10.57; see also § 5.16.
The manual also states:
G. P. I [1977 Additional Protocol I] extends the definition of grave breaches to include the following … acts, when committed wilfully and in violation of the Conventions or the Protocol:
• unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of PW or civilians. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 13.26.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that “the unjustified delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians” constitutes a “grave breach” of IHL. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 67; see also Part I bis, p. 45.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), under the heading “The Rights of Prisoners of War”, states: “His liberation and repatriation must be obtained at the end of hostilities.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 35, § 141; see also p. 55, § 241, p. 81, § 331, p. 264, § 621 and p. 280, § 642.
The manual further states that “the unjustified delay in repatriating prisoners of war or [detained] civilians” constitutes a grave breach of IHL. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 295, § 661.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides:
While all PWs [prisoners of war] are to be released and repatriated immediately upon cessation of active hostilities, parties to the conflict are to repatriate, regardless of rank or number, all seriously wounded and sick when fit to travel. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 10-5, § 49.
The manual further states:
Interned persons must be released by the detaining power as soon as the reasons which necessitated internment cease to exist. Internment must also cease as soon as possible after the close of hostilities. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 11-7, § 58.
The manual also identifies “unjustifiable delay in repatriating prisoners of war or civilians” as a war crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, Section 16.3, §§ 8 and 17.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Combatant Status” that prisoners of war “must be released and repatriated without delay at the end of hostilities”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 303.1.d.
In its chapter on the treatment of prisoners of war (PWs), the manual further states:
While all PWs are to be released and repatriated immediately upon the cessation of active hostilities, parties to the conflict are to repatriate, regardless of rank or number, all seriously wounded and sick when fit to travel. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1035.
In its chapter on the treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power and, more specifically, in a section entitled “Treatment of internees”, the manual provides:
Interned persons must be released by the detaining power as soon as the reasons which necessitated internment cease to exist. Internment must also cease as soon as possible after the close of hostilities. However, internees who are in the territory of a belligerent and who are undergoing a sentence of confinement or against whom penal (that is, judicial) proceedings for offences not exclusively subject to disciplinary penalties are pending, may be detained until the close of the proceedings or end of the sentence. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1131.
In the same chapter, in a section entitled “Additional Protocol I”, the manual further provides:
Except in cases of arrest or detention for penal offences, [any person arrested, detained or interned for actions related to the armed conflict] shall be released with the minimum delay possible and in any event as soon as the circumstances justifying the arrest, detention or internment have ceased to exist. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1135.3.
In its chapter on “War crimes, individual criminal liability and command responsibility”, the manual states that “unjustifiable delay in repatriating prisoners of war or civilians” is a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1608.3.b.
Canada
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states: “Grave breaches of the [1949 Geneva Conventions] and [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] include any of the following actions[:] … Wilful and unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of PW [prisoners of war].” 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 103.2.e.
In detailing the commander’s main responsibilities towards prisoners of war, the manual states: “At the end of hostilities PW are to be repatriated with the minimum of delay.” 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 202.2.e.
Guidelines for the release and repatriation of prisoners of war at the end of hostilities are contained in Annex 3H of the manual, where it is reiterated that “[t]he repatriation process must take place with the minimum of delay as soon as possible after the end of active hostilities”. 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 3H04.1.a.
Canada
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008) states:
Chapter 4: Use of Force in International Operations
402. Types of International Operations
1. In general, there are four types of international operational relationships in which the CF [Canadian Forces] may participate with each one having unique considerations pertaining to the use of force, self-defence and rules of engagement:
a. Alliance. Alliance operations refer to operations conducted under a formal standing alliance such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or Canada-United States (CANUS). In these cases, there are formal policy, command-and-control and force structure instruments which will affect ROE [rules of engagement] development and application;
b. Coalition. A coalition is a less formal alliance which is normally limited to a specific mission. Coalitions normally lack the formal status of forces' agreements and infrastructure architectures that are common to alliances such as NATO. A coalition may operate under the legal umbrella of a UN Security Council resolution, but they are not UN missions. Once a mission or operation has been completed, the coalition is normally disbanded;
c. United Nations (UN). UN missions operate under a UN Security Council resolution and fall within the UN command-and-control structure; and
d. Unilateral. An international operation where Canadian forces are operating unilaterally within a region or area.
407. Supplementary Direction
3. Detainees. In support of the operational or security objectives of an international operation, Canadian forces may be required to detain persons. Reasons to detain include, but are not limited to, persons who do the following:
a. interfere with the accomplishment of the mission and related tasks;
b. otherwise use or threaten force against friendly forces, or the equipment and materials belonging to them, or under their protection;
c. enter an area under the control of friendly forces without prior authorization; and
d. are suspected of breaches of the law of armed conflict.
4. Where the use of deadly force is authorized in a given situation, that authority also includes the authority to detain persons against whom deadly force could have been used. In all other cases, specific ROE must be authorized in order to detain persons. The standards provided in the Geneva Conventions will be the minimum standard for the treatment of all detainees whether or not the Geneva Conventions legally apply during the operation. 
Canada, Use of Force for CF Operations, Canadian Forces Joint Publication, Chief of the Defence Staff, B-GJ-005-501/FP-001, August 2008, §§ 402.1 and 407.3–4.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructors’ Manual (1992) provides that release and repatriation of prisoners of war must be obtained at the end of hostilities. 
Cameroon, Droit International Humanitaire et Droit de la Guerre, Manuel de l’Instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 154, § 541.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) includes amongst the rights to be accorded to prisoners of war: “He must be released and repatriated at the end of hostilities.” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 59; see also p. 37.
The manual adds that this same provision “also applies to civilian internees except for those who are being tried for a criminal act”. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 59; see also p. 94.
The manual further states that “unjustified delays in the repatriation of prisoners of war and civilians” is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and thus a war crime. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 108.
Colombia
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) provides that all prisoners of war must be repatriated at the end of hostilities. 
Colombia, Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual Básico para las Personerías y las Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 1995, p. 31.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
II. Rights and duties of prisoners of war
The prisoner of war is an enemy combatant hors de combat due to the fact of his capture. As such, he enjoys a legal status which guarantees him rights.
- the release and repatriation of prisoners still in detention must be obtained at the end of hostilities. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 27; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 18.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
Chapter 2. Combatants and objectives
The term “combatant” is found in numerous treaties on the law of armed conflicts (LOAC). It is important to know who is a combatant because:
- combatants captured by the enemy in international armed conflicts are prisoners of war (POWs);
- POWs, in contrast to other detained persons, must be released and repatriated without delay at the cessation of hostilities.
Chapter 5. Prisoners of war
I.3.1. Duty to release and repatriate
Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of hostilities. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 17, 59 and 60.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) states that “unjustified delay in repatriation of POWs [prisoners of war]” falls under “grave breaches (war crimes)”. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 56.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides that “retention of prisoners of war and civilians” constitutes a grave breach, which is a war crime. 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 3.4.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states: “All prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities. This requires neither a formal armistice agreement nor the conclusion of a peace treaty.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 731.
The manual further stresses:
Seriously wounded and sick prisoners of war who are fit to travel and whose mental or physical fitness has been incurably or permanently diminished or whose recovery may not be expected within one year shall already be repatriated during the armed conflict. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 732.
The manual also states: “Grave breaches of international humanitarian law are in particular: … unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war and civilians”. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 1209.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “After the cessation of combat operations all prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay.” 
Germany, Druckschrift Einsatz Nr. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Erarbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 7.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) provides that one of the measures required after a conflict is the repatriation of prisoners of war (POWs) and internees. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, pp. 38 and 99.
The manual also states that “unjustified delay in repatriation of POWs” falls under “grave breaches (war crimes)”. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 90.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) provides: “In any event, at the end of hostilities, the prisoners must be returned to their State of nationality.” 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 54.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “When hostilities end, prisoners-of-war must be repatriated.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 34.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) provides that “unjustified delay in repatriation of prisoners of war” is considered a war crime. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 85.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “At the end of the hostilities, the prisoners of war must be released without delay.” It adds: “Gravely wounded and sick prisoners shall be immediately repatriated.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 2-T, § 26.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states:
193. The [1949 Geneva] Convention [III] provides for direct repatriation (return to country of origin):
B. the parties to the conflict are bound to repatriate seriously wounded and sick prisoners of war, regardless of number or rank, after caring for them until they are fit to travel;
194. In some situations that arise at the end of a conflict, the principle established in the Code for prisoners of war of 1929, requiring the repatriation of prisoners on the conclusion of peace, could be detrimental to them. Experience has shown that a very long time can elapse between the time hostilities cease and the time peace is concluded. To remedy this, the Convention states that repatriation must take place “without delay after the cessation of active hostilities”.
195. One exception to immediate repatriation is provided in the case of prisoners convicted of or prosecuted for criminal offences, who may be detained until the end of legal proceedings and, if necessary, until they have completed their sentence. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, §§ 193(B) and 194–195; see also §§ 378–379.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.” It also provides: “Parties to the conflict are bound to send back to their own country seriously wounded and seriously sick prisoners of war.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VII-12, § 6.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Seriously wounded and seriously sick prisoners of war must be repatriated by the Detaining Power.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-42.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Section 8 - End of captivity
0750. Parties in a conflict should send seriously wounded and seriously sick prisoners of war back to their own countries (repatriation), even if hostilities continue. Seriously wounded and seriously sick mean, specifically, the incurably sick and wounded and sick who cannot be expected to recover within one year. A wounded or sick prisoner of war who is eligible for repatriation may not be returned to his own country against his will during the hostilities. In addition, the parties to a conflict must strive to transfer non-serious cases of sick and wounded prisoners of war to neutral territory. This means especially those sick and wounded who are expected to recover within one year. A repatriated prisoner of war may not be employed in military service. After cessation of hostilities, prisoners of war must immediately be released and repatriated. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0750.
In its chapter on neutrality, the manual states:
0930. Escaped prisoners of war who are held on neutral territory should be freed.
0931. If they are permitted to stay in the territory of the neutral State, a place of residence may be assigned (HC [1907 Hague Convention respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land] Article 13).
0932. A detaining power may transfer prisoners of war to a neutral State.
0933. To receive such prisoners of war does not constitute a violation of the State’s neutral position. Neutral status may be compromised if a prisoner of war escapes while held on neutral territory.
0934. A State’s neutral position is not compromised if seriously sick or wounded prisoners of war are cared for within its territory.
The accommodation of such prisoners of war in neutral territory may moreover take place only by agreement between all parties concerned (including the State of origin and the detaining power).
0935. The neutral State receiving them must take the necessary measures to prevent those concerned from being redeployed on active military service.
A neutral State which has admitted prisoners of war to its territory should set up an information bureau (see points 0242 ff.) 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0930–0935.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Prisoners of war must be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 910.
The manual further states: “Unjustifiable delay in repatriating prisoners of war or civilians [is a grave breach when committed wilfully and in violation of the Conventions and Protocol]”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1703(4).
The manual also states:
935. Parties to the conflict are to repatriate, regardless of rank or number, all seriously wounded and sick when fit to travel and, when possible, agreements should be made between the parties, with the cooperation of neutral states, for the detention of such persons in neutral territory pending such repatriation. …
1133. Interned persons must be released by the Detaining Power as soon as the reasons which necessitated internment cease to exist. Internment must also cease as soon as possible after the end of hostilities but internees, who are in the territory of a belligerent and who are undergoing a sentence of confinement or against whom judicial proceedings … are pending, may be detained until the end of the proceedings or, as the case requires, of the sentence. Each State which is a party to the [1949 Geneva Convention IV] must endeavour, at the end of hostilities or of the occupation, to ensure the return of all internees to their last place of residence, or at least to facilitate their repatriation. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, §§ 935 and 1133.
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides: “Prisoners of war must be released and repatriated upon the cessation of the hostilities.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 44.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “When appropriate, special agreements should be made between the parties to the conflict or with neutral States in order to … arrange for the repatriation of prisoners of war or their transfer to neutral territory.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 25.b.(2).(d).
The manual also states:
a. Prisoners of war must be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.
d. It is not necessary to wait until active hostilities are over to repatriate prisoners of war. Early repatriation can be very advantageous for the detaining power, enabling it to avoid a heavy administrative and logistic burden. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 52.a and d; see also § 67.a.
The manual further states: “The internment of civilians must cease as soon as possible after the cessation of active hostilities.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 67.b.
The manual further specifies:
Prisoners of war charged with or convicted of an indictable offence may be detained until the end of the legal proceedings or until they have served their sentence. The parties to the conflict must notify each other of all such persons detained until the end of legal proceedings or their sentence. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 67.d.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “When appropriate, special agreements should be made between the parties to the conflict or with neutral States in order to … arrange for the repatriation of prisoners of war or their transfer to neutral territory.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 26(b)(2)(d), p. 233.
The manual also states:
a. Prisoners of war must be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.
d. It is not necessary to wait until active hostilities are over to repatriate prisoners of war. Early repatriation can be very advantageous for the detaining power, enabling it to avoid a heavy administrative and logistic burden. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 53(a) and (d), p. 261.
The manual further states: “The internment of civilians must cease as soon as possible after the cessation of active hostilities.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 68(b), p. 268.
The manual further specifies:
Persons charged with or convicted of a criminal offence may be detained until the end of the legal proceedings and, if the case may be, until they have served their sentences.
The parties to the conflict must notify each other of all such persons detained until the end of legal proceedings or their sentences. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 68(d), p. 269.
South Africa
South Africa’s Medical Services Military Manual makes specific reference to the obligations in Articles 118 and 119 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and provides that, after an armistice, prisoners of war against whom no criminal proceedings are pending have a right to be released and repatriated without delay. 
South Africa, Medical Services Military Manual – Humanitarian Law, South African Medical Service Academy in Voortrekkerhoogte, s.d, Article 36.
The manual identifies as war crimes grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
South Africa, Medical Services Military Manual – Humanitarian Law, South African Medical Service Academy in Voortrekkerhoogte, s.d, § 41.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
Fundamental Norms and Values (rules)
The fundamental norms/val[u]es which underlie the LOAC [law of armed conflict] are:
- All persons who are captured or under the authority of an adverse party are entitled to, as a minimum, the protection and guarantees bestowed upon prisoners of war (POW). 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 1, pp. 16–17.
The manual also states:
Treatment of POW [prisoners of war]
Seriously wounded and sick POW shall be sent back to their homeland during hostilities, as soon as they have become fit to travel.
After the cessation of hostilities, POW shall be released and repatriated.
Termination of Captivity
The following POW must be repatriated directly and immediately:
- Incurable wounded and sick POW whose mental or physical fitness seems to have been gravely diminished.
- Wounded and sick POW who, according to medical opinion, are not likely to recover within one year, whose condition requires treatment and whose mental or physical fitness seems to have been gravely diminished.
- Wounded and sick POW who have recovered, but whose mental or physical fitness seems to have been gravely and permanently diminished.
After the armistice, POW, against whom no criminal proceedings are pending, have a right to be released and repatriated without delay. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 2, pp. 95, 98 and 99–100.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides that internees and prisoners of war must be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of hostilities. It specifies that certain categories of internees must be released as soon as the reasons for their internment no longer exist, regardless of whether their return to their place of residence can be authorized during the hostilities. These provisions apply to: persons with incurable wounds or illnesses, who are not expected to recover within one year or those people who, although recovered, remain debilitated; children; expectant mothers or those with young children; and wounded, sick or interned persons who have been interned for long periods. It also specifies that when releasing and repatriating internees and prisoners of war, priority should be given to the wounded and sick, the elderly and those who have been detained the longest. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 6.5 and 6.9.
The manual further provides: “It is a grave breach which shall be qualified as a war crime … to delay without justification the repatriation of prisoners of war and civilian internees.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 11.8.b.(1)
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Prisoners of war must be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities … A repatriation plan must be established, giving priority to the wounded and sick, those who are oldest and those who have been detained for the longest.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 6.5.b; see also § 8.8.a.(2).
With regard to internees, the manual states that they “must be released as soon as the reasons necessitating their internment cease to exist”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 6.9.
The manual then states that, during hostilities:
Internees can be repatriated or authorized to return to their place of residence [or hospital in a neutral country, should the condition so warrant] … in accordance with the following provisions:
- The incurably wounded and sick.
- The wounded and sick unlikely to recover within a year.
- The wounded and sick who have recovered, but have been left with serious impairments.
- Children.
- Pregnant women.
- Mothers with young children.
- The wounded and sick and internees who have been detained for a long time. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 6.9.a.
The manual further states that the provisions that apply to the release and repatriation of internees after the cessation of hostilities are the same as those that apply to prisoners of war. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 6.9.b.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states: “Prisoners shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities. The Detaining Power shall establish a plan of repatriation and ensure its execution.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 141.
The manual further provides that grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I include “the unjustified delay in repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians”. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 193(2).
The manual also states: “Seriously wounded and sick prisoners of war shall be repatriated as soon as their state of health permits it; the other wounded and sick may be hospitalized in neutral countries.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 142(1).
The manual stipulates: “Mixed Medical Commissions shall be appointed to examine sick and wounded prisoners to make all appropriate decisions regarding their repatriation or hospitalization in a neutral country.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 142(2).
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
1.2.17. “Repatriation” means the return to the State of citizenship, permanent residence or origin of the persons who found themselves in the territory of another state for various reasons.
1.8.5. Serious violations of international humanitarian law directed against people include:
- delay of repatriation … of prisoners of war or of civilian persons. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 1.2.17 and 1.8.5.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states: “Prisoners of war must be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 261.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “PW [prisoners of war] must be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 8, p. 33, § 22.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
Prisoners of war must be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities. The detailed arrangements should be included in an armistice agreement. However, if they are not, each of the detaining powers must quickly prepare and implement a repatriation scheme … The duty of repatriation is absolute and may not be made conditional upon the behaviour of the state on which the prisoners depend. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 8.168.
In its chapter on enforcement of the law of armed conflict, the manual notes:
Additional Protocol I extends the definition of grave breaches to include the following:
c. the following, when committed wilfully and in violation of the Conventions or the protocol:
(2) unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.25(c)(2).
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) reproduces Articles 109, 118 and 119 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Articles 132 and 134 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, §§ 188, 198, 200 and 339–431.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.” It further stresses the obligation of the parties to the conflict to repatriate seriously wounded and sick prisoners of war. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 13-10.
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s Internal Service Manual (1996) states:
19. A soldier must know and strictly comply with international rules … [relative to] the treatment of … civilians in a war zone, as well as of prisoners of war.
20. … Military personnel captured and interned in neutral States retain the status of military personnel. Military commanders and other authorized State organs are obliged to protect the rights of soldiers and [ensure] their return to their homeland, in compliance with international law. 
Uzbekistan, Manual of the Internal Service of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan, adopted by Presidential Decree No. UP-1571, 9 October 1996, Articles 19–20.
Armenia
Under Armenia’s Penal Code (2003), “unjustified delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians” during an armed conflict constitutes a crime against the peace and security of mankind. 
Armenia, Penal Code, 2003, Article 390.4(2).
Australia
Australia’s Geneva Conventions Act (1957), as amended in 2002, provides: “A person who, in Australia or elsewhere, commits a grave breach … of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] is guilty of an indictable offence.” 
Australia, Geneva Conventions Act, 1957, as amended in 2002, Section 7(1).
The grave breaches provisions in this Act were removed in 2002 and incorporated into the Criminal Code Act 1995.
Australia
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended in 2007, states with respect to war crimes that are grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I:
War crimeunjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians
(1) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) one or more persons are in the power of, or are interned, detained or otherwise deprived of liberty by, an adverse party as a result of an international armed conflict; and
(b) the perpetrator unjustifiably delays the repatriation of the person or persons to the person’s own country or the persons’ own countries; and
(c) the delay is in violation of Part IV of the Third Geneva Convention or Chapter XII of Section IV of Part III of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years.
(2) Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(c). 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended on 1 November 2007, taking into account amendments up to Act No. 177 of 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.99, p. 371.
Australia
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I in the list of war crimes in the Criminal Code, including “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians”. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.99.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “unjustified delay of repatriation of POW [prisoners of war] and civilian individuals to their native country” constitutes a war crime. 
Azerbaijan, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 116.0.15.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Belarus
Belarus’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “unjustified delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians” is a war crime. 
Belarus, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 136(15).
Belgium
Belgium’s Penal Code (1867), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
32. unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war and civilians. 
Belgium, Penal Code, 1867, as amended on 5 August 2003, Chapter III, Title I bis, Article 136 quater, § 1(32).
Belgium
Under Belgium’s Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols (1993), as amended in 1999, “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians” is a grave breach and, as such, a criminal offence. 
Belgium, Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, 1993, as amended in 1999, Article 1(3)(18).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (1993), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
18. unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war and civilians. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 1 ter, § 1(18).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Amnesty Law (1996), as amended, provided for the release and repatriation of prisoners of war without delay upon cessation of active hostilities. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation, Amnesty Law as amended, 1996, Article 5.
The Republika Srpska’s Law on Amnesty (1996), as amended, contains the same provision. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Law on Amnesty as amended, 1996, Article 5.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) states:
Whoever, in violation of the rules of international law, after the termination of a war or armed conflict, orders or conducts an unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians,
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of between six months and five years. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 182.
Canada
Canada’s Geneva Conventions Act (1985), as amended in 2007, provides: “Every person who, whether within or outside Canada, commits a grave breach [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I] … is guilty of an indictable offence.” 
Canada, Geneva Conventions Act, 1985, as amended in 2007, Section 3(1).
Cook Islands
The Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols Act (2002) of the Cook Islands punishes “any person who in the Cook Islands or elsewhere commits, or aids or abets or procures the commission by another person of, a grave breach … of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]”. 
Cook Islands, Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols Act, 2002, Section 5(1).
Croatia
Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997) provides:
Whoever in violation of the rules of international law, after the termination of a war or armed conflict, orders or imposes an unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians shall be punished. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 166.
Cyprus
Cyprus’s Additional Protocol I Act (1979) punishes “any person who, whatever his nationality, commits in the Republic or outside the Republic, any grave breach of the provisions of the Protocol, or takes part or assists or incites another person in the commission of such a breach”. 
Cyprus, Additional Protocol I Act, 1979, Section 4(1).
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1999, punishes “whoever in wartime … delays, without grounds, the return of civilians or prisoners of war”. 
Czech Republic, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1999, Article 263(a)(2)(b).
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Military Penal Code (2002) provides:
Article 165
Crimes against humanity are grave violations of international humanitarian law committed against any civilian population before or during war.
Crimes against humanity are not necessarily linked to the state of war and can be committed not only between persons of different nationality, but even between subjects of the same State.
Article 166
The grave breaches listed hereafter, affecting, by action or omission, the persons and objects protected by the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977, constitute crimes against humanity, repressed according to the provisions of the present Code, without prejudice to more severe penal provisions provided by the ordinary Penal Code:
16. Delaying without justification the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians;
Article 167
The offences contained in the preceding article are punished with penal servitude for life.
If those contained in points 1, 2, 5, 6, 10 to 14 of the same article lead to the death or cause grave injury to the physical integrity or health of one or several persons, the perpetrators are liable to the death penalty. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Penal Code, 2002, Articles 165–167.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Estonia
Estonia’s Penal Code (2001) provides that “unjustified delay in the release or repatriation, if committed against a prisoner of war or an interned civilian” is a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 99.
Georgia
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians” in an international or a non-international armed conflict is a crime. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 411(1)(h).
Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone, who, in connection with an international or non-international armed conflict, “unjustifiably delays the return home of a protected person”. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1, § 8(3)(1).
Hungary
Hungary’s Criminal Code (1978), as amended in 1998, provides that “unjustified delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians persons” is a punishable offence. 
Hungary, Criminal Code, 1978, as amended in 1998, Section 158(3)(c).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 3(1).
The Act adds that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Articles 109 and 118 of the Geneva Convention III and Articles 132–134 of the Geneva Convention IV, are also punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Japan
Japan’s Law concerning the Punishment of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (2004) states:
Article 4 (Crimes of delaying the repatriation of Prisoners of War)
(1) When a person who has the authority to repatriate prisoners of war, in cases where an armed conflict that caused the internment of prisoners of war has ceased, without justifiable reason, delays the repatriation of prisoners of war to the other Party to the armed conflict … the person shall be punished by imprisonment with labour for not more than 5 years.
(2) When a person referred to in the preceding paragraph, without justifiable reason, delays the repatriation of sick and wounded prisoners of war who are fit to travel to the repatriation territory, the person shall be dealt with in the same way prescribed for in the preceding paragraph. 
Japan, Law concerning the Punishment of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 2004, Article 4.
Jordan
Jordan’s Military Penal Code (2002) states that the following shall be deemed a war crime when committed in the event of armed conflict: “Any unjustified delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians”. 
Jordan, Military Penal Code, 2002, Article 41(a)(16).
Lithuania
Under Lithuania’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1998, unjustified delay in the release or repatriation of prisoners of war and interned alien civilians after the termination of hostilities is a war crime. 
Lithuania, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1998, Articles 342 and 343.
Netherlands
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, it is a crime to commit, in an international armed conflict, “the following acts if committed intentionally and in violation of the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol (I): … unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians”. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Article 5(2)(d)(ii).
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Geneva Conventions Act (1958), as amended in 1987, provides:
Any person who in New Zealand or elsewhere commits, or aids or abets or procures the commission by another person of, a grave breach … of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] is guilty of an indictable offence. 
New Zealand, Geneva Conventions Act, 1958, as amended in 1987, Section 3(1).
Niger
According to Niger’s Penal Code (1961), as amended in 2003, “unjustified delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians”, protected under the 1949 Geneva Conventions or the 1977 Additional Protocols, constitutes a war crime. 
Niger, Penal Code, 1961, as amended in 2003, Article 208.3(18).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military and Police Justice (2006) states:
Any member of the military or police shall be imprisoned for a period of no less than five and no more than 15 years if her or she in the context of an international armed conflict:
1. … unjustifiably delays the repatriation [of a protected person]. In less serious cases, the penalty shall be of no less than two and no more than five years. 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 93(1).
This article is no longer in force. Along with certain other articles in this legislation, it was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court (en banc decision for case file No. 0012-2006-PI-TC, 8 January 2007) because it does not stipulate a crime committed in the line of duty that would fall under the jurisdiction of a military court pursuant to Article 173 of Peru’s Constitution.
Peru
Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010), in a chapter entitled “Crimes against persons protected by international humanitarian law”, states:
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than six years and not more than twenty-five years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she:
1. … unjustifiably delays [protected persons’] repatriation. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 90(1).
The Code defines persons protected by international humanitarian law as follows:
The following are persons protected by International Humanitarian Law:
1. In an international armed conflict, the persons protected by the Geneva Conventions I, II, III and IV of 12 August 1949 [and] Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 8 June 1977.
2. In a non-international armed conflict, the persons who benefit from protection under Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and, where relevant, the Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions of 8 June 1977.
3. In international and non-international armed conflicts, members of the armed forces and persons who directly participate in hostilities who have laid down their arms or for any other reason find themselves defenceless. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 75.
Philippines
The Philippines’ Executive Order No. 335 (2001) states:
Whereas, a Peace Agreement was signed and executed on 06 December 2000 between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa sa Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/A Boncayao Brigade (RPM-P/RPA/ABB) on the basis of their mutual interest to pursue a peaceful settlement of the present armed conflict and hasten the progress and development of the country to equally enjoy the fruits thereof by all citizens of the Republic of the Philippines.
Whereas, the Peace Agreement provides for the release of political prisoners and for the dismissal of charges filed against RPM-P/RPA/ABB officers and members currently under prosecution and for them to reintegrate and join the civil society. 
Philippines, Executive Order No. 335, 2001, preamble.
Republic of Moldova
The Republic of Moldova’s Penal Code (2002) punishes “grave breaches of international humanitarian law committed during international and non-international armed conflicts”. 
Republic of Moldova, Penal Code, 2002, Article 391.
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Law Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) provides:
Article: 8
A war crime is one of the following acts, committed during armed conflicts against persons or property protected under the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and its Additional Protocols I and II of 8 June 1977:
14° any unjustified delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilian internees, after the cessation of active hostilities;
Article: 9
Shall be punished by one of the following penalties any person having committed one of the war crimes provided for in Article 8 of this law:
3° imprisonment for five (5) to ten (10) years where he has committed a crime provided for in point 4°, 5°, 13°, 14° or 15° of Article 8 of this law. 
Rwanda, Law Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Articles 8–9.
Serbia
Serbia’s Criminal Code (2005) states: “Whoever, in violation of international law, delays without justification the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians after the end of war or armed conflict, or orders such delay, shall be punished by imprisonment of [from] six months to five years.” 
Serbia, Criminal Code, 2005, Article 382.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Geneva Conventions Act (2012) states:
2. Grave breaches of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions and the [1977] First [Additional] Protocol.
(1) A person of whatever nationality commits an offence if that person, whether within or outside Sierra Leone[,] commits, aids, abets or procures any other person to commit a grave breach specified in –
(e) paragraph … 4 of Article 85 of the First Protocol [on, inter alia, the grave breach of unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians]. 
Sierra Leone, Geneva Conventions Act, 2012, Section 2(1)(e).
Slovakia
Slovakia’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended, punishes “whoever in wartime … delays, without grounds, the return of civilians or prisoners of war”. 
Slovakia, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended, Article 263(a)(2)(b).
Slovenia
Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994) provides that “whoever, at the end of war or armed conflict and in violation of the rules of international law, orders the postponement of the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians, or postpones it himself” shall be punished. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Article 383.
Somalia
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
A commander who causes serious harm to lawful enemy belligerents who have fallen into his power … by not according them the treatment prescribed by law or by international agreements … shall be punished, unless the act constitutes a more serious offence, by military confinement for not less than three years. 
Somalia, Military Criminal Code, 1963, Article 382.
South Africa
South Africa’s Constitution (1996), as amended to 2003, states:
35. Arrested, detained and accused persons. …
...
(2) Everyone who is detained, including every sentenced prisoner, has the right –
(d) to challenge the lawfulness of the detention in person before a court and, if the detention is unlawful, to be released;
37. States of emergency.
(1) A state of emergency may be declared only in terms of an Act of Parliament and only when –
(a) the life of the nation is threatened by war, invasion, general insurrection, disorder, natural disaster or other public emergency; …
(5) No Act of Parliament that authorises a declaration of a state of emergency, and no legislation enacted or other action taken in consequence of a declaration may permit or authorise –
(c) any derogation from a section mentioned in column 1 of the Table of Non-Derogable Rights, to the extent indicated opposite that section in column 3 of the Table.
(6) Whenever anyone is detained without trial in consequence of a derogation of rights resulting from a declaration of a state of emergency, the following conditions must be observed:
(e) A court must review the detention as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than 10 days after the date the person was detained, and the court must release the detainee unless it is necessary to continue the detention to restore peace and order.
(f) A detainee who is not released in terms of a review under paragraph (e), or who is not released in terms of a review under this paragraph, may apply to a court for a further review of the detention at any time after 10 days have passed since the previous review, and the court must release the detainee unless it is still necessary to continue the detention to restore peace and order.
(7) If a court releases a detainee, that person may not be detained again on the same grounds unless the state first shows a court good cause for re-detaining that person.
(8) Subsection (6) and (7) do not apply to persons who are not South African citizens and who are detained in consequence of an international armed conflict. Instead, the state must comply with the standards binding on the Republic under international humanitarian law in respect of the detention of such persons. 
South Africa, Constitution, 1996, as amended to 2003, Sections 35(2)(d) and 37(1)(a), 5(c), 6(e)–(f) and (7)–(8).
In the “Table of Non-Derogable Rights”, the Constitution includes section 35, entitled “Arrested, detained and accused persons”, and states that the right is protected “[w]ith respect to … subsections … (2)(d) …”. 
South Africa, Constitution, 1996, as amended to 2003, Section 37.
South Africa
South Africa’s Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act (2012) states:
1. Definitions
In this Act, unless the context indicates otherwise –
“protected prisoner of war” means a person protected by the [1949] Third [Geneva] Convention or a person who is protected as a prisoner of war under [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I;
5. Breach of Conventions and penalties
(1) Any person who, whether within or outside the Republic, commits a grave breach of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions, is guilty of an offence.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), “a grave breach” means –
(e) a grave breach referred to in Article … 85 of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I.
12. Protected prisoners of war in custody
(2) A protected prisoner of war who is in the custody of the South African National Defence Force must be granted the protection of the [1949] Third [Geneva] Convention or the [1949] Fourth [Geneva] Convention, as the case may be. 
South Africa, Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act, 2012, Sections 1, 5(1)–(2)(e) and 12(2).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) punishes anyone who unjustifiably prevents or delays the release or repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 611(7).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states in a chapter entitled “War crimes”:
Art. 110
Articles 112–114 apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 113
The penalty shall be a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or a monetary penalty for any person who:
c. without justification, delays the repatriation of prisoners of war after the cessation of hostilities. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and 113(c).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states under the title “War crimes”:
Art. 264b
Articles 264d–264j apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 264i
The penalty shall be a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or a monetary penalty for any person who:
c. without justification, delays the repatriation of prisoners of war after the cessation of hostilities. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 264b and 264i (c).
Tajikistan
Tajikistan’s Criminal Code (1998) punishes “wilful breaches of norms of international humanitarian law committed in an international or non-international armed conflict … [such as] unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians”. 
Tajikistan, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 403(1).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Geneva Conventions Act (1957), as amended in 1995, punishes “any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether in or outside the United Kingdom, commits, or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of, a grave breach of … [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]”. 
United Kingdom, Geneva Conventions Act, 1957, as amended in 1995, Section 1(1).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
26.2. Persons and objects affected by the war crimes set out in the present provision are persons and objects which international law protects in international or internal armed conflict.
26.3. The following are war crimes:
35. Unjustifiable delay in the repatriation or liberation of prisoners of war or detained enemy combatants or of the interned civilian population after the termination of hostilities. 
Uruguay, Law on Cooperation with the ICC, 2006, Articles 26.2 and 26.3.35.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, provides: “Whoever, in violation of the rules of international law, once the war or an armed conflict is over, orders an unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians or conducts it himself shall be punished.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, Article 150-a.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Geneva Conventions Act (1981), as amended in 1996, punishes “any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether in or outside Zimbabwe, commits any such grave breach of … [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]”. 
Zimbabwe, Geneva Conventions Act, 1981, as amended in 1996, Section 3(1).
Canada
In 2008, in the Amnesty International Canada case, Canada’s Federal Court dismissed an application for judicial review on the basis of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with respect to persons detained by the Canadian Forces (CF) in Afghanistan and their transfer to Afghan authorities. The Federal Court stated:
I. Introduction
[13] To assist in resolving this dispute in a timely and efficient manner, the parties have jointly agreed to have the issue of whether the Charter applies in the context [of] Canada’s military involvement in the armed conflict in Afghanistan determined on the basis of the following questions, pursuant to Rule 107(1) of the Federal Courts Rules:
1. Does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply during the armed conflict in Afghanistan to the detention of non-Canadians by the Canadian Forces or their transfer to Afghan authorities to be dealt with by those authorities?
2. If the answer to the above question is “NO” then would the Charter nonetheless apply if the Applicants were ultimately able to establish that the transfer of the detainees in question would expose them to a substantial risk of torture?
[16] For the reasons that follow, I have determined that the answer to both of the questions posed by the motion is “No”. As a result, the applicants’ application for judicial review must therefore be dismissed.
II. Background
[44] Even before the Afghan Compact was concluded, the governments of Canada and Afghanistan had signed a document outlining the nature of Canada’s involvement and powers within Afghanistan: see the “Technical Arrangements between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”, dated December 18, 2005.
[47] The Technical Arrangements further provide that:
Canadian personnel may need to use force (including deadly force) to ensure the accomplishment of their operational objectives, the safety of the deployed force, including designated persons, designated property, and designated locations. Such measures could include the use of close air support, firearms or other weapons; the detention of persons; and the seizure of arms and other materiel. Detainees would be afforded the same treatment as Prisoners of War. Detainees would be transferred to Afghan authorities in a manner consistent with international law and subject to negotiated assurances regarding their treatment and transfer. …
b) The Canadian Forces’ Detention of Individuals in Afghanistan
[53] As part of Canada’s military operations in Afghanistan, Canadian Forces are from time to time required to capture and detain insurgents, or those assisting the insurgents, who may pose a threat to the safety of Afghan nationals, as well as to members of the Canadian military and allied forces.
[54] The Canadian Forces possess a broad discretion to detain Afghan civilians, including individuals who may have no active role in hostilities.
[55] That is, Canadian Task Force Afghanistan’s Theatre Standing Order 321A regarding the “Detention of Afghan Nationals and Other Persons” provides that the Canadian Forces may detain any person on a “reasonable belief” (defined as “neither mere speculation nor absolute certainty”) that he or she is adverse in interest. This includes “persons who are themselves not taking a direct part in hostilities, but who are reasonably believed to be providing support in respect of acts harmful to the CF/Coalition Forces”.
[56] Under Theatre Standing Order 321A, the decision as to whether individual detainees should be retained in Canadian custody, released, or transferred to the custody of a third country, is within the sole discretion of the Commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, a position currently occupied by General Laroche.
[61] It is both NATO and Canadian Forces’ policy to transfer or release detainees within 96 hours of their capture. However, the Canadian Forces has the ability to hold detainees for longer periods, and has done so for a variety of reasons.
[63] The Canadian Forces have the sole discretion to determine whether a detainee “shall be retained in custody, transferred to [the Afghan National Security Forces] or released.” These determinations are made on a case-by-case basis by the Canadian Commander of Task Force Afghanistan at regular review meetings.
[85] The respondents do maintain … that Canada has no legal authority to establish or run a long-term detention facility in Afghanistan. That is, according to the respondents, the Canadian Forces have not been authorized to detain for the long term, either by the Government of Canada or by ISAF commanders, who have operational control over Canadian Forces. Nor has the Government of Afghanistan authorized such an encroachment on their sovereignty.
IV. Does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply during the armed conflict in Afghanistan to the detention of non-Canadians by the Canadian Forces or their transfer to Afghan authorities to be dealt with by those authorities?
b) R. v. Hape
[108] R. v. Hape involved a question as to the admissibility of evidence obtained outside of Canada at a criminal trial in this country.
[149] Similarly, in this case, as a foreign state, Canada would not ordinarily have the power to detain non-Canadians, including Afghan citizens, on Afghan soil, without the consent of Afghanistan.
c) Has the Government of Afghanistan Consented to the Application of Canadian law, Including the Charter?
[162] Insofar as the relationship between the Governments of Afghanistan and Canada is concerned, the two countries have expressly identified international law, including international humanitarian law, as the law governing the treatment of detainees in Canadian custody.
[182] In light of the foregoing, it is clear that while Afghanistan has consented to its citizens being detained by the Canadian Forces for the purposes described by the Afghan Compact, it cannot be said that Afghanistan has consented to the application or enforcement of Canadian law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to constrain the actions of the Canadian Forces in relation to detainees held by the Canadian Forces on Afghan soil.
[183] Furthermore, the Government of Afghanistan has not consented to having Canadian Charter rights conferred on non-Canadians, within its territorial limits.
[184] As a result, based upon the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in Hape, it would thus appear that the Charter does not apply to the conduct of the Canadian Forces in issue in this case.
d) “Effective Military Control of the Person” as a Test for Charter Jurisdiction
[274] Whatever its appeal may be, … the practical result of applying such a “control of the person” based test would be problematic in the context of a multinational military effort such as the one in which Canada is currently involved in Afghanistan. Indeed, it would result in a patchwork of different national legal norms applying in relation to detained Afghan citizens in different parts of Afghanistan, on a purely random-chance basis.
[276] This would be a most unsatisfactory result, in the context of a United Nations-sanctioned multinational military effort, further suggesting that the appropriate legal regime to govern the military activities currently underway in Afghanistan is the law governing armed conflict – namely international humanitarian law.
[277] Indeed, international humanitarian law is a highly developed branch of international law comprised of both customary international law and treaties “that regulates the conduct of military operations and operated to protect civilians and other persons not actively participating in hostilities, and to mitigate harm to combatants themselves” …
[279] Moreover, international humanitarian law applies not only during times of war, but applies as well, albeit with some modifications, to non-international armed conflicts within the territory of High Contracting Parties …
[280] The application of international humanitarian law to the situation of detainees in Afghanistan would not only give certainty to the situation, but would also provide a coherent legal regime governing the actions of the international community in Afghanistan.
[296] Moreover, both military detentions and police searches and seizures involve the invasion of “the private sphere of persons”, which invasion is “paradigmatic of state sovereignty”: Hape at ¶87. According to the Supreme Court, such actions can only be authorized by the host state.
[297] In this case, the scope of the authority given to Canada by the Government of Afghanistan to detain individuals on its soil is limited, and specifically contemplates that Canadian actions in this regard be governed by international law. In addition, it is clear from a review of the documentation governing the relationship between Afghanistan and Canada that the rights to be accorded to detainees are those guaranteed by the Afghan constitution, and by international law.
[298] As a consequence, I cannot accept the applicants’ argument that the Charter applies to the conduct of members of the Canadian Forces in relation to detainees held by Canadian military personnel on Afghan soil, based upon the degree of control that the Canadian Forces exert over the detainees.
VI. Conclusion
[336] … [A] number of concerns … flow from the Court’s finding that the Charter does not apply in the circumstances of this case.
[337] As was noted by Justice Binnie in Hape, the content of human rights protections provided by international law is weaker, and their scope more debatable than Charter guarantees …
[338] Moreover, the enforcement mechanisms for those standards may not be as robust as those available under the Charter, and have even been described as “rather gentle” …
[342] That said, the Supreme Court of Canada has carefully considered the scope of the Charter’s extraterritorial reach in R. v. Hape, and has concluded that its reach is indeed very limited. Applying the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Hape to the facts of this case leads to the conclusion that the Charter does not apply to the actions of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan in issue here.
[343] Before concluding, it must be noted that the finding that the Charter does not apply does not leave detainees in a legal “no-man’s land”, with no legal rights or protections. The detainees have the rights conferred on them by the Afghan Constitution. In addition, whatever their limitations may be, the detainees also have the rights conferred on them by international law, and, in particular, by international humanitarian law. 
Canada, Federal Court, Amnesty International Canada case, Judgment, 12 March 2008, §§ 13, 16, 44, 47, 53–56, 61, 63, 85, 108, 149, 162, 182–184, 274, 276–277, 279–280, 296–298, 336–338 and 342–343.
[emphasis in original]
The Federal Court of Appeal subsequently upheld the findings of the Federal Court. It stated:
I conclude that the motions judge made no errors in answering the way she did the two questions that were before her. The Charter has no application to the situations therein described. There is no legal vacuum, considering that the applicable law is international humanitarian law. 
Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Amnesty International Canada case, Judgment, 17 December 2008, § 36.
Israel
In its judgment in the A. v. State of Israel case in 2008 concerning the legality of national law with regard to unlawful combatants, Israel’s Supreme Court stated:
46. … [D]etainees under the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law [(2002)] may remain in detention for prolonged periods of time. Notwithstanding, as we shall explain immediately, the purpose of the law and the special circumstances in which it was intended to apply, lead to the conclusion that the fundamental arrangement that allows detention orders to be made without a defined date for their termination does not depart from the margin of proportionality, especially in view of the judicial review arrangements that are provided in the law.
As we have said, the purpose of the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law is to prevent “unlawful combatants” as defined in section 2 of the law from returning to the cycle of hostilities, as long as the hostilities are continuing and threatening the security of the citizens and residents of the State of Israel. For similar reasons the [1949] Third Geneva Convention allows prisoners of war to be interned until the hostilities have ended, in order to prevent them returning to the cycle of hostilities as long as the fighting continues. Even where we are concerned with civilians who are detained during an armed conflict, international humanitarian law provides that the rule is that they should be released from detention immediately after the specific ground for the detention has elapsed and no later than the date when the hostilities end. …
50. As we said at the outset, the appellants, who are inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, were originally detained in the years 2002–2003, when the Gaza Strip was subject to a belligerent occupation. At that time, the administrative detention of the appellants was effected by virtue of the security legislation that was in force in the Gaza Strip. Following the end of military rule in the Gaza Strip in September 2005 and the cancellation of the security legislation in force there, on 20 September 2005 the chief of staff issued detention orders for the appellants under the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law. …
51. In their pleadings … it was argued [by the appellants] that according to the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel should have released the appellants when the military rule in the Gaza Strip ended, since they were inhabitants of an occupied territory that was liberated. …
52. … The end of military rule in the Gaza Strip did not oblige Israel to release automatically all the detainees held by it who are inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, as long as the personal threat that the detainees represented continued against the background of the continued hostilities against the State of Israel. This conclusion is clearly implied by the arrangements set out in articles 132–133 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Section 132 of the aforesaid convention provides the general principle that the date for the release of detainees is when the grounds of detention that originally led to their detention no longer exist. The first part of article 133 of the convention, which relates to a specific case that is included within the scope of the aforesaid general principle, goes on to provide that the detention will end as soon as possible after the hostilities have ended. Article 134 of the convention, which concerns the question of the place where the detainees should be released, also relates to the date on which hostilities end as the date on which detainees should be released from detention. Unfortunately, the hostilities of the terrorist organizations against the State of Israel have not yet ended, and they lead almost on a daily basis to physical injuries and mortalities. In such circumstances, the laws of armed conflict continue to apply. Consequently it cannot be said that international law requires Israel to release the detainees that were held by it when the military rule in the Gaza Strip came to an end, when it is possible to prove the continued individual threat presented by the detainees against the background of the continued hostilities against the security of the state. 
Israel, Supreme Court of Israel, Court of Criminal Appeals, A. v. State of Israel case, Judgment, 11 June 2008, §§ 46 and 50–52.
Israel
In its judgment in the Said case in 2008, concerning the continued detention of a Palestinian from Gaza under the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law (2002), as amended in 2008, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
26. An internment order under the Internment Law is not limited in time in advance. It is subject to periodic judicial review (section 5 of the Law). This review is intended to examine, the first time it is held, whether grounds exist for the internment. In subsequent reviews, which are made once every six months, the court must examine whether the release of the internee will harm state security, or if there are special reasons to justify his release (section 5(c) of the Law). …
28. … [T]he court making the judicial review of detention under the Internment Law may limit and shorten the period of detention, giving consideration to the quality and intensity of the evidence brought before it regarding the security threat posed by the detainee, and giving consideration to the time that has passed since the order was made. The judicial review is intended to ensure that the absence of a date for termination of the internment order made under the Law does not disproportionately violate the detainee’s right to personal liberty, and that detainees under the Law are not held for a longer period of time than is necessary when taking into account significant security considerations. 
Israel, Supreme Court of Israel, Court of Criminal Appeals, Said case, Judgment, 7 November 2008, §§ 26 and 28.
Israel
In its judgment in the A. v. State of Israel case (No 4) in 2009, concerning the legality of national law with regard to unlawful combatants, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
The main difficulty in approving a detention order is that the detention orders pursuant to the law [Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law (2002)] are not required to include a defined date for the conclusion of the detention. The law albeit notes that the detention shall not continue after “the cession of the hostilities”, but clearly, knowing the history of the struggle against terrorism, it can be said that at this time, at very least, it appears to be an abstract point in time (see also “A”, at par. 46 A. v. State of Israel case, 2008]). In this situation, persons who have been declared as unlawful combatants are liable to find themselves in detention for long periods, and in fact, for an unlimited period of time. The partial solution provided in the law for this difficulty is found in the periodic judicial review of the extension of the detention order, and the court’s ability to limit and shorten the detention period in accordance with the evidence brought before it, its intensity, quality and currency, and in light of the period of time during which the detainee has been detained pursuant to the detainment order. In this fashion, prevention of disproportional impingement upon the detainee’s right to liberty should be ensured (see also: CrimA 7446/08 Said v. The State of Israel (unpublished, 7 November 2008)). 
Israel, Supreme Court of Israel, A. v. State of Israel case (No 4), Judgment, 19 August 2009, § 9.
[emphasis in original]
South Africa
In 1987, in the Petane case, the Cape Provincial Division of South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed the accused’s claim that the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflected customary international law. The Court stated:
The accused has been indicted before this Court on three counts of terrorism, that is to say, contraventions of s 54(1) of the Internal Security Act 74 of 1982. He has also been indicted on three counts of attempted murder.
The accused’s position is stated to be that this Court has no jurisdiction to try him.
… The point in its early formulation was this. By the terms of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I to the [1949] Geneva Conventions the accused was entitled to be treated as a prisoner-of-war. A prisoner-of-war is entitled to have notice of an impending prosecution for an alleged offence given to the so-called “protecting power” appointed to watch over prisoners-of-war. Since, if such a notice were necessary, the trial could not proceed without it, Mr Donen suggested that the necessity or otherwise for giving such a notice should be determined before evidence was led. …
On 12 August 1949 there were concluded at Geneva in Switzerland four treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. …
South Africa was among the nations which concluded the treaties. … Except for the common art 3, which binds parties to observe a limited number of fundamental humanitarian principles in armed conflicts not of an international character, they apply to wars between States.
After the Second World War many conflicts arose which could not be characterised as international. It was therefore considered desirable by some States to extend and augment the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, so as to afford protection to victims of and combatants in conflicts which fell outside the ambit of these Conventions. The result of these endeavours was Protocol I and Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, both of which came into force on 7 December 1978.
Protocol II relates to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. Since the State of affairs which exists in South Africa has by Protocol I been characterised as an international armed conflict, Protocol II does not concern me at all.
The extension of the scope of art 2 of the Geneva Conventions was, at the time of its adoption, controversial. …
The article has remained controversial. More debate has raged about its field of operation than about any other articles in Protocol I. …
South Africa is one of the countries which has not acceded to Protocol I. Nevertheless, I am asked to decide, as I indicated earlier, as a preliminary point, whether Protocol I has become part of customary international law. If so, it is argued that it would have been incorporated into South African law. If it has been so incorporated it would have to be proved by one or other of the parties that the turmoil which existed at the time when the accused is alleged to have committed his offences was such that it could properly be described as an “armed conflict” conducted by “peoples” against a “ra[c]ist regime” in the exercise of their “right of self-determination”. Once all this has been shown it would have to be demonstrated to the Court that the accused conducted himself in such a manner as to become entitled to the benefits conferred by Protocol I on combatants, for example that, broadly speaking, he had, while he was launching an attack, distinguished himself from civilians and had not attacked civilian targets. …
… I am prepared to accept that where a rule of customary international law is recognised as such by international law it will be so recognised by our law.
To my way of thinking, the trouble with the first Protocol giving rise to State practice is that its terms have not been capable of being observed by all that many States. At the end of 1977 when the treaty first lay open for ratification there were few States which were involved in colonial domination or the occupation of other States and there were only two, South Africa and Israel, which were considered to fall within the third category of ra[c]ist regimes. Accordingly, the situation sought to be regulated by the first Protocol was one faced by few countries; too few countries in my view, to permit any general usage in dealing with armed conflicts of the kind envisaged by the Protocol to develop.
Mr Donen contended that the provisions of multilateral treaties can become customary international law under certain circumstances. I accept that this is so. There seems in principle to be no reason why treaty rules cannot acquire wider application than among the parties to the treaty.
Brownlie Principles of International Law 3rd ed at 13 agrees that non-parties to a treaty may by their conduct accept the provisions of a multilateral convention as representing general international law. …
I incline to the view that non-ratification of a treaty is strong evidence of non-acceptance.
It is interesting to note that the first Protocol makes extensive provision for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. …
In this sense, Protocol I may be described as an enlightened humanitarian document. If the strife in South Africa should deteriorate into an armed conflict we may all one day find it a cause for regret that the ideologically provocative tone of s 1(4) has made it impossible for the Government to accept its terms.
To my mind it can hardly be said that Protocol I has been greeted with acclaim by the States of the world. Their lack of enthusiasm must be due to the bizarre mixture of political and humanitarian objects sought to be realised by the Protocol. …
According to the International Review of the Red Cross (January/February 1987) No 256, as at December 1986, 66 States were parties to Protocol I and 60 to Protocol II, which, it will be remembered, deals with internal non-international armed conflicts. With the exception of France, which acceded only to Protocol II, not one of the world’s major powers has acceded to or ratified either of the Protocols. This position should be compared to the 165 States which are parties to the Geneva Conventions.
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status o[f] customary international [law].
I have not been persuaded by the arguments which I have heard on behalf of the accused that the assessment of Professor Dugard, writing in the Annual Survey of South African Law (1983) at 66, that “it is argued with growing conviction that under contemporary international law members of SWAPO [South-West Africa People’s Organisation] and the ANC [African National Congress] are members of liberation movements entitled to prisoner-of-war status, in terms of a new customary rule spawned by the 1977 Protocols”, is correct. On what I have heard in argument I disagree with his assessment that there is growing support for the view that the Protocols reflect a new rule of customary international law. No writer has been cited who supports this proposition. Here and there someone says that it may one day come about. I am not sure that the provisions relating to the field of application of Protocol I are capable of ever becoming a rule of customary international law, but I need not decide that point today.
For the reasons which I have given I have concluded that the provisions of Protocol I have not been accepted in customary international law. They accordingly form no part of South African law.
This conclusion has made it unnecessary for me to give a decision on the question of whether rules of customary international law which conflict with the statutory or common law of this country will be enforced by its courts.
In the result, the preliminary point is dismissed. The trial must proceed. 
South Africa, Supreme Court, Petane case, Judgment, 3 November 1987, pp. 2–8.
South Africa
In 2010, in the Boeremag case, South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court stated:
In Petane, … Conradie J found that the provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I are not part of customary international law, and therefore are also not part of South African law.
Referring to the fact that in December 1986 only 66 of the 165 States party to the Geneva Conventions had ratified Protocol I, the Court [in Petane stated:
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status of customary international law.
Important changes with respect to certain aspects applicable at the time of Petane have taken place. The ANC [African National Congress] has become South Africa’s ruling party and in 1995 ratified Protocol I. The total number of States that have ratified it, is now … 162.
This last aspect forms the basis on which the First Respondent [the State] and the applicants agree that Protocol I forms part of customary international law as well as of South African law. As requested, this position is accepted for the purposes of the decision, without deciding on the matter.
Despite these changes, it remains debatable whether the provisions of Protocol I have become a part of South African law in this way.
The consensus of both parties to the conflict is required. See Petane … and Article 96 of Protocol I. …
Parliament’s failure to incorporate Protocol I into legislation in accordance with Article 231(4) of the Constitution in fact points to the contrary, and is indicative that the requirements of usus and/or opinio juris have not been met. See Petane. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, pp. 21–22.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The Court also held:
If the [1977 Additional Protocol I] applies in South Africa as customary international law, the two requirements that form the basis of customary law must be met. It is arguable that the requirement of usus has been met by the vast number of States that have acceded or ratified it. By ratifying Protocol I the Republic of South Africa has indicated its intention to apply the Protocol, thereby fulfilling the requirement of opinio juris. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, p. 66.
United States of America
In the Hamdi case in 2004, involving a US citizen being detained indefinitely as an “enemy combatant”, the US Supreme Court reversed the dismissal of a habeas corpus petition by a lower court, recognized the power of the government to detain “enemy combatants”, but ruled that detainees who are US citizens must have the ability to challenge their detention before a neutral decision-maker. On the matter of the release and return of persons deprived of their liberty, the Court stated:
It is a clearly established principle of the law of war that detention may last no longer than active hostilities. See Article 118 of the Geneva Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Aug. 12, 1949, [1955] 6 U. S. T. 3316, 3406, T. I. A. S. No. 3364 (“Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities”). See also Article 20 of the Hague Convention (II) on Laws and Customs of War on Land, July 29, 1899, 32 Stat 1817 (as soon as possible after “conclusion of peace”); Hague Convention (IV), supra, Oct. 18, 1907, 36 Stat 2301 (“conclusion of peace” (Art. 20)); Geneva Convention, supra, July 27, 1929, 47 Stat 2055 (repatriation should be accomplished with the least possible delay after conclusion of peace (Art. 75)); Paust, Judicial Power to Determine the Status and Rights of Persons Detained without Trial, 44 Harv. Int’l L. J. 503, 510-511 (2003) (prisoners of war “can be detained during an armed conflict, but the detaining country must release and repatriate them ‘without delay after the cessation of active hostilities,’ unless they are being lawfully prosecuted or have been lawfully convicted of crimes and are serving sentences” (citing Arts. 118, 85, 99, 119, 129, Geneva Convention (III), 6 U. S. T., at 3384, 3392, 3406, 3418)). 
United States, Supreme Court, Hamdi case, Judgment, 28 June 2004.
United States of America
The Noriega case in August 2007 involved the former general and head of Government of Panama who had been removed from power during the US invasion of Panama in 1989, detained as a prisoner of war, tried in the United States on drug trafficking, racketeering and money-laundering charges and sentenced to a term of imprisonment in 1992. With this term of imprisonment due to expire in September 2007 and with France having requested his extradition on money-laundering charges, for which he had been convicted in absentia, Noriega (still with prisoner-of-war protection) petitioned the Court for writs of habeas corpus, mandamus and prohibition. In denying this application, the Court stated:
In conclusion, the Court notes again that “[i]n order to set the proper example and avoid diminishing the trust and respect of other nations”, the United States must honor fully its obligations according to the Convention [1949 Geneva Convention III]. Respect is earned by being fair and just in the administration of the law. The Defendant … was convicted as to a number of extremely serious crimes in this country and has been charge[d] elsewhere with serious crimes. Thus his present appearances notwithstanding, a strict adherence to the terms of the Convention, both as to the letter and the spirit of the Convention, does not mandate immediate repatriation but rather supports a decision that Defendant must face those charges, which are legitimately brought against him by other parties to the Convention, so long as our international obligations under the Convention are being met. Based upon the circumstances and argument presented by the parties, it appears that in this specific instance examined today as to this very unique Defendant, the United States is doing so.
In a footnote to this decision, the Court further noted:
The decision today is also consistent with Articles 5 and 85 of the Convention, as the United States has represented that Defendant will retain his rights as a POW [prisoner of war] while in France’s custody, i.e. presumably through final repatriation. 
United States, District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Noriega case, Judgment, 24 August 2007.
On 7 September 2007, the Court lifted a temporary stay on the Defendant’s extradition to France that had been granted two days earlier, noting that “nothing from the Defendant compels this Court to change its prior conclusion that the Convention [1949 Geneva Convention III] does not prevent legitimate extraditions conducted in compliance with Article 12 [of that Convention]”. 
United States, District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Noriega case, Judgment, 7 September 2007.
In the Noriega case in April 2009, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied the appellant’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The Court held that not only does the Military Commissions Act (2006) preclude application of Article 118 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III (concerning repatriation of prisoners of war), but that Geneva Convention III does not prohibit extradition of prisoners of war to another State Party to the Geneva Conventions. The Court stated:
Extradition is an executive function derived from the President’s power to conduct foreign affairs, and the judiciary historically has played a limited role in extradition proceedings.
The United States’ authority to extradite [the appellant] comes from the United States’ extradition treaty with France. The federal extradition statute generally permits extradition when based on a treaty or convention. See 18 U.S.C. § 3184. Article 1 of the extradition treaty between the United States and France, entitled “Obligation to Extradite,” states that “[t]he Contracting States agree to extradite to each other, pursuant to the provisions of this Treaty, persons whom the competent authorities in the Requesting State have charged with or found guilty of an extraditable offense.” … The offense of which [the appellant] has been convicted in absentia in France, which corresponds to money laundering in the United States, undoubtedly falls within the purview of the treaty.
We find it unnecessary to resolve the question of whether the [1949] Geneva Conventions are self-executing, because it is within Congress’ power to change domestic law, even if the law originally arose from a self-executing treaty. … That is, because “‘an Act of Congress … is on a full parity with a treaty, … [and] when a statute which is subsequent in time is inconsistent with a treaty, the statute to the extent of conflict renders the treaty null.’” Breard v. Greene, 523 U.S. 371, 376, 118 S.Ct. 1352, 140 L.Ed.2d 529 (1998) … Thus, as discussed below, while the United States’ international obligations under the Geneva Conventions are not altered by the enactment of § 5 of the MCA [Military Commissions Act (2006)], Congress has superseded whatever domestic effect the Geneva Conventions may have had in actions such as this.
The parties’ dispute centers on the extent to which § 5 removes an individual’s ability to invoke the Conventions in a civil action against the United States, including a habeas proceeding. Section 5 of the MCA provides:
No person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto in any habeas corpus or other civil action or proceeding to which the United States, or … agent of the United States is a party as a source of rights in any court of the United States or its States or territories.
[The appellant] maintains that while under § 5 he cannot invoke the Third Geneva Convention as a source of individual rights in a judicial proceeding, “his right to enforce the provisions of the Geneva Convention against the Secretary of State, the Bureau of Prisons, or the Department of Justice [is] in no way abrogated.” (Appellant’s Reply Br. 15.) Thus, [the appellant] argues that article 118 of the Third Geneva Convention mandates that he be immediately repatriated to Panama, as his term of imprisonment in the United States is complete. See Third Geneva Convention art. 118 (“Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.”). The Government maintains that § 5(a) of the MCA precludes invocation of the Third Geneva Convention in this proceeding, as § 5(a) “codified the principle that the Geneva Conventions [are] not judicially enforceable by private parties,” and that regardless, the Third Geneva Convention authorizes his continued detention pending his extradition for criminal proceedings in France. (Appellees’ Br. 14 n.6, 15.)
Despite [the appellant]’s arguments to the contrary, it appears that [he] is invoking the Third Geneva Convention as a source of rights – the alleged right to immediate repatriation under article 118. While the legal effect of § 5 has not been widely discussed, the plain language of § 5 prohibits exactly this type of action. The district court appears to have read § 5 similarly, noting that § 5 “attempts to remove entirely the protections of the Convention from any person, even a citizen of the United States, in any American courtroom whenever the United States is involved.” Noriega II, 2007 WL 2947572, at *4. …
These readings of § 5(a) are consonant with the MCA’s legislative history, which further suggests that the express language of § 5 was understood to preclude individuals from invoking the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights. …
Accordingly, the plain language of § 5 of the MCA, which is clearly supported by its legislative history, precludes Noriega’s Geneva Convention claims. As the Geneva Convention is [the appellant]’s only substantive basis for relief he has failed to state a claim upon which habeas relief could be granted.
Articles 118 and 119 of the Third Geneva Convention set forth the permissible duration for the detention of prisoners of war. Article 118 provides, in pertinent part, that “[p]risoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.” Third Geneva Convention art. 118. Article 119 further qualifies that “[p]risoners of war against whom criminal proceedings for an indictable offence are pending may be detained until the end of such proceedings, and, if necessary, until the completion of the punishment. The same shall apply to prisoners of war already convicted for an indictable offence.” Id. at art. 119. As a result of [the appellant]’s conviction in the United States, article 119 authorized the United States to prolong his detention for the duration of his sentence – beyond the cessation of hostilities between the United States and Panama. Nowhere, however, is it suggested that a prisoner of war may not be extradited from one party to the Convention to face criminal charges in another. Nor do the stated purposes of articles 118 and 119, as reflected by their commentary, preclude detention in these circumstances: article 118 is intended to prohibit “prolong[ed] war captivity,” while article 119 unambiguously reflects the intention of the drafters to permit detention of prisoners of war subject to criminal proceedings. …
Article 12 [of 1949 Geneva Convention III] further supports the principle that repatriation is not automatic. Article 12 provides that “[p]risoners of war may only be transferred by the Detaining Power to a Power which is a party to the Convention and after the Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of such transferee Power to apply the Convention.” Third Geneva Convention art. 12. As France and the United States are both parties to the Third Geneva Convention, and “the United States sought and obtained from the Republic of France specific information regarding all of the rights that the defendant will be guaranteed by France upon his extradition,” Noriega III, 2007 WL 2947981, at *1, these conditions have been satisfied. The text of article 12 imposes no further limitations on the ability to extradite prisoners of war, and nothing in article 12 implies that a contracting party cannot abide by a valid extradition treaty and extradite a prisoner of war to another contracting party simply because the person is a prisoner of war.
[The appellant] maintains, however, that the omission of the term “extradition” in article 12 demonstrates that extradition is not permitted under the article, and that the district court erred in looking to article 45 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Aug. 12, 1949 [Geneva Convention IV], 6 U.S.T. 3516, 75 U.N.T.S. 287 (“Fourth Geneva Convention”), to define the term “transfer” as used in article 12 of the Third Geneva Convention. While article 12 of the Third Geneva Convention is silent as to extradition, article 45 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which parallels article 12 and provides for the transfer of civilians between parties to the Convention, specifically notes that nothing in this article “constitute[s] an obstacle to the extradition, in pursuance of extradition treaties concluded before the outbreak of hostilities, of protected persons accused of offences against ordinary criminal law.” Fourth Geneva Convention art. 45. The district court noted the commentary’s definition of the term “transfer” as used in article 45 as “internment in the territory of another Power, repatriation, the returning of protected persons to their country of residence or their extradition.” Noriega II, 2007 WL 2947572, at *2 (quoting 4 Int’l Comm. Of Red Cross, Commentary: Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 266 (J. Pictet ed.1958)). We agree with the district court that while the purposes behind the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions may be different, it is still “compelling that the convening parties expressed an understanding of the term ‘transfer’ which included extradition.” Noriega II, 2007 WL 2947572, at *2. To conclude otherwise would mean that a country would be obligated to extradite a civilian, but not a prisoner of war, when they are facing identical criminal charges. We are hesitant to imply such an inconsistent result, particularly when both articles permit the transfer of prisoners of war or civilians under the same limited restraints.
Accordingly, should any doubt exist as to the principal holding here, [the appellant]’s habeas petition would also be denied because extradition would not violate [his] rights under the Third Geneva Convention. 
United States, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Noriega case, Judgment, 8 April 2009, pp. 1294–1299.
[emphasis in original; footnotes in original omitted]
United States of America
Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen born on 19 September 1986, had been captured in Afghanistan in July 2002 and detained Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, since October 2002. In September 2007, the Khadr case (US Court of Military Commission Review) resulted from an appeal by the Government after the military judge presiding over Khadr’s military commission trial had dismissed all charges against him without prejudice – a ruling based upon the judge’s determination that the military commission lacked personal jurisdiction over Khadr. The basis for that ruling had been the Appellant’s failure to properly determine Khadr’s status as an “alien unlawful enemy combatant” before his Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT). The judge ruled that this was an indispensable prerequisite to the military commission’s ability to exercise personal jurisdiction under the Military Commissions Act 2006 (MCA), further stating that “the military commission is not the proper authority, under the provisions of the MCA, to determine that Mr. Khadr is an unlawful enemy combatant in order to establish initial jurisdiction for this commission to try Mr. Khadr”.
In a judgment that affirmed the military judge’s conclusion that Khadr’s CSRT classification in 2004 as an “enemy combatant” was insufficient to establish the military commission’s criminal jurisdiction over him but reversed the military commission’s ruling that it lacked authority to hear evidence on, and ultimately decide, the matter of Khadr’s “unlawful enemy combatant status”, the Court stated that “[a]t the conclusion of the armed conflict, lawful combatants who are held as prisoners of war are entitled to be safely and expeditiously repatriated to their nation of origin”. 
United States, Court of Military Commission Review, Khadr case, Judgment, 24 September 2007.
United States of America
In the Al-Bihani case in January 2010, involving an appeal by a Yemeni citizen held in detention at Guantánamo Bay since 2002 for the denial of a writ of habeas corpus by a district court, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the order of the lower court, stating the following regarding the appellant’s claim that a cessation of hostilities required his release from detention under international law:
With the government’s detention authority established as an initial matter, we turn to the argument that [the appellant] must now be released according to longstanding law of war principles because the conflict with the Taliban has allegedly ended. See Hamdi Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507] 521. [The appellant] offers the court a choice of numerous event dates – the day Afghans established a post-Taliban interim authority, the day the United States recognized that authority, the day Hamid Karzai was elected President – to mark the official end of the conflict. No matter which is chosen, each would dictate the release of [the appellant] if we follow his reasoning. His argument fails on factual and practical grounds. First, it is not clear if [the appellant] was captured in the conflict with the Taliban or with Al Qaeda; he does not argue that the conflict with Al Qaeda is over. Second, there are currently 34,800 U.S. troops and a total of 71,030 Coalition troops in Afghanistan, … with tens of thousands more to be added soon. The principle [the appellant] espouses – were it accurate – would make each successful campaign of a long war but a Pyrrhic prelude to defeat. The initial success of the United States and its Coalition partners in ousting the Taliban from the seat of government and establishing a young democracy would trigger an obligation to release Taliban fighters captured in earlier clashes. Thus, the victors would be commanded to constantly refresh the ranks of the fledgling democracy’s most likely saboteurs.
In response to this common sense observation, [the appellant] contends the current hostilities are a different conflict, one against the Taliban reconstituted in a non-governmental form, and the government must prove that [the appellant] would join this insurgency in order to continue to hold him. But even the laws of war upon which he relies do not draw such fine distinctions. The Geneva Conventions require release and repatriation only at the “cessation of active hostilities.” Third Geneva Convention [1949 Geneva Convention III] art. 118. That the Conventions use the term “active hostilities” instead of the terms “conflict” or “state of war” found elsewhere in the document is significant. It serves to distinguish the physical violence of war from the official beginning and end of a conflict, because fighting does not necessarily track formal timelines. See id art. 2 (provisions apply “even if the state of war is not recognized”), art. 118 (discussing the possibility of the cessation of active hostilities even in the absence of an agreement to cease hostilities). The Conventions, in short, codify what common sense tells us must be true: release is only required when the fighting stops.
Even so, we do not rest our resolution of this issue on international law or mere common sense. The determination of when hostilities have ceased is a political decision, and we defer to the Executive’s opinion on the matter, at least in the absence of an authoritative congressional declaration purporting to terminate the war. 
United States, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Al-Bihani case, Judgment, 5 January 2010, pp. 12–13.
Algeria
The Report on the Practice of Algeria states: “According to the documentation published by the FLN [Front de Libération Nationale], one can conclude that a large number of prisoners were eventually released and repatriated, often through the ICRC.” 
Report on the Practice of Algeria, 1997, Chapter 5.4.
Bangladesh
In 1992, during a debate in the UN Security Council concerning the situation in the former Yugoslavia, Bangladesh stated that a “strong signal should be conveyed to the Serbs that they must release all prisoners and detainees from the concentration camps and abolish all such camps immediately”. 
Bangladesh, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3137, 16 November 1992, p. 111.
Botswana
According to the Report on the Practice of Botswana, it is the opinio juris of Botswana that persons in the power of an adversary should be released as soon as the reasons for arrest or detention have ceased to exist. 
Report on the Practice of Botswana, 1998, Chapter 5.4.
Colombia
The Report on the Practice of Colombia states:
The Colombian Government has ordered the demilitarization of certain regions of the country in order to advance dialogue conducive to the demobilization and reintegration of guerrilla groups and also to carry out humanitarian operations, such as those designed to secure the release of persons deprived of liberty, both military and civilian. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 1.8, referring to President’s Office, Second Report on the Peace Process, 18 May 1995, pp. 3, 11 and 12; Circular of the Major General Miguel Vega Uribe, Commander of the Colombian Armed Forces, reprinted in Arturo Alape, La paz, la violencia: testigos de excepción, Bogotá, Editorial Planeta, 1985, pp. 503–508.
Egypt
According to the Report on the Practice of Egypt, “Egypt always stresses on the search, repatriation and release of POWs [prisoners of war], be they Egyptians or appertaining to the adverse party. This occurred on several occasions.” 
Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 5.4.
France
The Report on the Practice of France points out that France has insisted on the moral necessity of releasing prisoners in connection with the conflicts in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda. It even mentioned the possibility of freeing prisoners from camps by force. 
Report on the Practice of France, 1999, Chapter 5.4.
Germany
In 1989, in a reply to a question in Parliament concerning the repatriation of Ethiopian prisoners of war, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs stated:
The Federal Government will also in future urge the Ethiopian government to agree to a return of prisoners on humanitarian grounds. However, neither the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, to which Ethiopia is a party, nor customary international humanitarian law places any obligation on Ethiopia to repatriate or take back prisoners of war during a continuing armed conflict. 
Germany, Reply by the Federal Government to a written question submitted by a Bundestag member and the Parliamentary Green Party, Document 11/3841, Safety of 127 repatriated Ethiopian prisoners of war, Bundestag Document 11/4037, 11th legislative period, 20 February 1989.
Germany
In 1995, all political parties in the German Parliament requested the release of injured and handicapped prisoners, as well as women, in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Proposal by the CDU/CSU, SPD, alliance 90/the Greens and FDP, Initiative zum Karabach-Konflikt, BT-Drucksache 13/1029, 30 March 1995, p. 1.
India
The Report on the Practice of India states: “It is very clear from the applicable law and judicial decisions that … when detention is no more justifiable by applicable laws, the executive authorities are bound to release the person detained.” 
Report on the Practice of India, 1997, Chapter 5.4.
Iraq
The Report on the Practice of Iraq refers to a military communiqué issued in 1980 during the Iran–Iraq War which pointed out that citizens of other countries who found themselves in Iraq were repatriated following evacuation. 
Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Chapter 5.4 and 5.6, referring to Military Communiqué No. 65, 8 October 1980.
Iraq
In 2012, in a speech at the “Conference of Consolidation with Arab and Palestinian Detainees in the Prisons of Israeli Occupation”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq stated:
We are looking forward … to the release of … Arab and Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons …
… I would like to … renew our demand of instant and unconditional release of all Arab and Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli occupation prisons. 
Iraq, Speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq at the “Conference of Consolidation with Arab and Palestinian Detainees in the Prisons of Israeli Occupation”, Baghdad, 11–12 December 2012, pp. 2–3.
Kuwait
The Report on the Practice of Kuwait states: “Kuwait, like the majority of States, considers he may detain POWs [prisoners of war] until the end of military operations, simply in order to neutralise them.” The report states that the opinio juris of Kuwait is that “immediately following the conclusion of hostilities, the parties must engage in negociations, possibly via a neutral intermediary, with a view to obtaining the release and return of all POWs and internees”. The report specifies, however, that spies “may only be released when they have completed their prison sentences”. 
Report on the Practice of Kuwait, 1997, Chapter 5.4.
Malaysia
In 2010, during the consideration of the status of the 1977 Additional Protocols by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, a statement of the delegation of Malaysia was summarized by the Committee in its records as follows:
8. [The delegate of Malaysia] said that …
10. … [t]he laws of naval warfare incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality …
11. [In the case of the attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on the Mavi Marmara and five accompanying vessels in May 2010] … [w]here vessels were captured, the protections provided in the Second and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949 and [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I continued to apply to the persons on board the vessels. 
Malaysia, Statement by the delegation of Malaysia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 18 October 2010, as published in the summary record of the 13th meeting, 8 December 2010, UN Doc. A/C.6/65/SR.13, §§ 8, 10 and 11.
Nigeria
According to the Report on the Practice of Nigeria, at the end of the Nigerian civil war in 1970, the inhabitants of the former Biafran enclave were released so that they could return to their respective towns. 
Report on the Practice of Nigeria, 1997, Chapter 5.4, referring to New Nigerian, 200 Ibos released, Lagos, 24 January 1970, p. 1.
Philippines
In 1995, the House of Representatives of the Philippines passed a resolution appealing to the President to release political prisoners detained throughout the country. 
Philippines, House of Representatives, Res. No. 27, 28 November 1995.
Republic of Korea
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the Republic of Korea made a declaration in relation to paragraph 4(b) of Article 85 stating:
A party detaining prisoners of war may not repatriate its prisoners [against] their openly and freely expressed will, which shall not be regarded as unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war constituting a grave breach of this Protocol. 
Republic of Korea, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 15 January 1982, § 2.
Rwanda
Following the 1992 N’Sele Cease-fire Agreement, the Rwandan Government adopted two amnesty laws, which led to the release of most of the persons detained in connection with the conflict. The rebels also released prisoners. In October, both parties declared that they no longer detained any prisoners of war. 
Association Rwandaise pour la défense des droits de la personne et des libertés publiques, Rapport sur les droits de l’homme au Rwanda, Kigali, 1993, pp. 45 and 51.
Senegal
In 1995, in its second periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Senegal stated:
85. As far as the facts at issue are concerned, it will be remembered that the 1980s were a time of serious instability in the Casamance region in the south of Senegal and that this resulted in the intervention of the armed forces to restore and maintain order. This conflict between the central Government and the separatist movement in the region (MFDC [Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance]) took the form of armed confrontations leading to deaths and injuries on both sides.
86. One of these clashes, at Kaguitt on 1 September 1992 was particularly deadly, as it occurred the day after the agreement was signed between the Senegalese Government and the separatist movement. The latter broke its promises by suddenly taking up arms again. The security forces arrested many persons who were brought before the courts.
87. The 1993 agreement led to the release of all persons detained in connection with this event, even before trial. However, some Senegalese and international non-governmental organizations took up the Kaguitt file by lodging a complaint with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul and with the monitoring bodies of the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. These complaints contained a list of the names of persons who had allegedly disappeared or been executed extrajudicially during the September 1992 events. 
Senegal, Second periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 11 July 1995, UN Doc. CAT/C/17/Add.14, submitted 27 March 1995, §§ 85–87.
Switzerland
In 2005, in a report in response to a parliamentary postulate on private security and military companies, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
International humanitarian law contains, first, specific rules to be respected with regard to persons in custody or under the power of a party to a conflict, such as prisoners and civilians in occupied territories. Such rules include … the obligation to release prisoners after the end of the armed conflict. 
Switzerland, Report by the Swiss Federal Council on Private Security and Military Companies, 2 December 2005, Section 5.3.1, p. 45.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, the following question was addressed to the UK Government in the House of Lords:
(a) why, more than a year after the end of major fighting, the nine British citizens held at Guantanamo (Cuba) and Bagram (Afghanistan) have not been either charged or released;
(b) whether their future depends solely on the United States Government;
(c) if so, why; and
(d) whether it was correctly reported in some editions of The Times of 3 February that British officials warned the men that there is little that Her Majesty’s Government can do to secure their release, despite their having answered intelligence questions. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Written question by a Member, Hansard, 18 February 2003, Vol. 644, Written Answers, col. WA167.
In a written reply, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
The US has said that the detainees are enemy combatants captured in a continuing armed conflict and held in that capacity by the US military authorities. The question of the status of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay under international humanitarian law has to be considered in the light of the facts relating to each individual detainee.
We remain in regular contact with the United States, at both ministerial and official level, about the situation of the detainees. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has raised the issue several times with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, most recently on 23 January. We have been encouraging the US to move forward with the process of determining the future of the British detainees. We shall continue to do so.
The discussions between British officials and the detainees are confidential as they contain personal information about the detainees. I am withholding further details of the visits by British officials to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay under exemption 1a of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, (information whose disclosure would harm national security or defence). 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Written answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 18 February 2003, Vol. 644, Written Answers, col. WA167.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in a written reply to a question in the House of Commons, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), stated:
FCO officials and I call regularly upon the parties to the Western Sahara dispute to take action on human rights issues. In February this year, I called for the immediate release of the remaining 1,160 Moroccan prisoners of war held by the Polisario Front, some held for over 25 years and some are in poor physical and mental health. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 28 April 2003, Vol. 404, Written Answers, col. 134W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in a written reply to questions in the House of Lords, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Lord Bach, stated:
Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty’s Government:
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Bach on 30 June (WA 64), how many people captured by British forces in Iraq and transferred to United States internment facilities have neither been released nor classified as prisoners of war.
Lord Bach: As of 3 July 2003, the United States is holding one prisoner of war and 22 other persons captured by British forces, who are either suspected of committing criminal offences or are interned where necessary for imperative reasons of security in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention. All other British captured prisoners of war have been released under the supervision of British forces, and with the knowledge of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty’s Government:
What assurances they have received from the United States authorities about the treatment of people captured by British forces in Iraq and transferred to United States internment facilities; whether any of them could face the death penalty; and when they will be released or tried.
Lord Bach: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s and United States’ responsibilities in relation to captured persons are contained in an arrangement between the nations. In accordance with this arrangement, the United States agreed to treat persons in accordance with the relevant Geneva Conventions. Under the terms of the arrangement, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has primary right to criminal jurisdiction for offences committed prior to transfer. For offences committed after transfer, the United States has primary right to jurisdiction, and in such cases it is up to the United States to decide sentence. We are not aware of any situation where United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland captured persons have committed any post transfer offences. In the absence of any post transfer offences, the decision to release rests with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland authorities.
Persons suspected of crimes other than against coalition forces or the security of Iraq are immediately handed over to Iraqi authorities. Persons suspected of crimes against coalition forces or the security of Iraq are held pending collection of evidence and a decision as to the forum for trial. Persons held for imperative reasons of security, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, will be released as soon as their internment ceases to be necessary. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Written answers by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Hansard, 8 July 2003, Vol. 651, Written Answers, cols. WA31–WA32.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in a written reply to a question in the House of Lords, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Lord Bach, stated:
Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty’s Government:
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Bach on 16 July (WA125), for how much longer they expect to keep without trial the 71 persons captured by British forces interned for imperative reasons of security; and how and by whom they expect the prisoners to be tried if they are not released.
Lord Bach: Of the 71 persons held for imperative reasons of security on 15 July, 49 have already been released. The remainder will be held until it is assessed that their internment is no longer necessary for reasons of security, all cases are subject to regular review. In cases where there is evidence to suggest that a criminal offence has been committed, persons captured by United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland forces are handed to the Iraqi judicial system. If internment is based on intelligence material that justifies internment, the case will not be suitable for trial, although cases will be subject to regular review.  
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Written answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Hansard, 8 September 2003, Vol. 652, Written Answers, col. WA45.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in a written reply to a question in the House of Commons, the UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence, stated:
Article 78 of the IV Geneva Convention (1949) allows the UK as the Occupying Power to intern people where it considers it necessary for reasons of security. Internees will continue to be held until such time as they are no longer considered a threat to Coalition Forces. A review is conducted at the 10, 28 and 90 day points (and every 90 days thereafter) to determine whether continued internment is necessary. Internees enjoy all their rights under the Geneva Conventions.
As at 1 December, all internees held by the UK Forces in Iraq are of either Iraqi or Sudanese nationality. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence, Hansard, 8 December 2003, Vol. 415, Written Answers, col. 269W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2004, in a reply to a question concerning the status of detainees in Iraq, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated:
The legal basis for the detention of all security internees is Geneva Convention IV. Their status is regularly reviewed and anyone no longer deemed to constitute an imminent threat to security may be released. 
United Kingdom, Letter to the Clerk from the Parliamentary Relations and Devolution Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 24 June 2004, published in House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Foreign Policy Aspects of the War Against Terrorism: Seventh Report of the Session 2003–04, Vol. II: Oral and Written Evidence, HC 441-II.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2010, in its closing submissions to the public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Baha Mousa and the treatment of those detained with him by UK armed forces in Iraq in 2003, the UK Ministry of Defence stated:
12. The treaties setting out rules of IHL are supplemented by rules of customary international law (CIL), i.e. rules which are recognized as binding by States, even though they do not appear in treaty texts. … [I]n relation to the rules described below the Government accepts that they reflect CIL. It is suggested that the rules which are of most relevance to this inquiry are:
12.20. … Civilian internees must be released as soon as the reasons which necessitated internment no longer exist, but at the latest as soon as possible after the close of active hostilities.
12.21. Thus, IHL provides a code for the deprivation of liberty, for those who meet the high test for internment, and subject to procedural safeguards, for an indeterminate but not indefinite period. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Closing Submissions to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry on Modules 1–3, 25 June 2010, §§ 12, 12.20 and 12.21, pp. 28 and 32.
[footnote in original omitted; emphasis in original]
United States of America
According to the Report on US Practice, it is the opinio juris of the United States that persons detained for their participation in an internal armed conflict and who are not serving a sentence of imprisonment lawfully imposed should be released or repatriated without delay at the end of active hostilities. Priority in release should be given to prisoners with special needs, such as the elderly and the wounded and sick. The report further states that “Articles 4, 5 and 6 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol II] reflect general US policy on treatment of persons in the power of an adverse party in armed conflicts governed by common Article 3” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. It also notes: “It is the opinio juris of the US that persons detained in connection with an internal armed conflict are entitled to humane treatment as specified in Articles 4, 5 and 6 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol II].” 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 5.3 and 5.4.
Zimbabwe
According to the Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, it is the opinio juris of Zimbabwe that persons detained by reason of their participation in an internal armed conflict should be released or repatriated without delay at the end of active hostilities. 
Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, 1998, Chapter 5.4.
UN Security Council
In two separate resolutions adopted in 1980, the UN Security Council called on the Governments of South Africa and Zimbabwe to release all political prisoners. 
UN Security Council, Res. 463, 2 February 1980, §§ 5(ii) and 7, voting record: 14-0-0-1; Res. 473, 13 June 1980, § 8, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on Tajikistan, the UN Security Council welcomed the release of detainees and prisoners of war which had taken place on 12 November 1994 and called for further similar measures. 
UN Security Council, Res. 968, 16 December 1994, § 10, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the UN Security Council:
Commending the Governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea on the progress made thus far in the peace process, including the recently concluded release and repatriation of prisoners of war, and calling on both parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to clarify and to resolve the remaining issues in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, and with the commitments made in the Algiers Agreements. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1466, 14 March 2003, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation in Western Sahara, the UN Security Council urged the POLISARIO Front “to release without further delay all remaining prisoners of war in compliance with international humanitarian law”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1598, 28 April 2005, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation in Western Sahara, the UN Security Council took note of the POLISARIO Front’s 18 August 2005 “release of the remaining 404 Moroccan prisoners of war in compliance with international humanitarian law”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1634, 28 October 2005, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 1996, in a statement by its President on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council demanded that the parties “comply fully … and without any further delay with their commitments regarding the release of prisoners” and expressed particular concern at the failure to comply with the relevant provisions of the 1995 Dayton Accords. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1996/15, 4 April 1996, pp. 1–2.
UN Security Council
In 1998, in a statement by its President on Afghanistan, the UN Security Council demanded that “the Taliban release other Iranians detained in Afghanistan and ensure their … passage out of Afghanistan without further delay”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1998/27, 15 September 1998, p. 1.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), the UN General Assembly:
Strongly encourages all parties to fulfil the commitments made at Dayton, Ohio, to release without delay all civilians and combatants held in prison or detention in relation to the conflict, in conformity with international humanitarian law and the provisions of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 50/193, 22 December 1995, § 19, voting record: 144-1-20-20.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN General Assembly welcomed the reported release of female detainees with children in Sudan. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 51/112, 12 December 1996, § 11, voting record: 100-16-50-19.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of the people unaccounted for, and calls upon the parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/109, 9 December 2003, § 7, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of the people unaccounted for, and calls upon the parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict.  
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/131, 10 December 2004, § 7, voting record: 50-0-100-41.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of the people unaccounted for, and calls upon the parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/114, 8 December 2005, § 8, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of the people unaccounted for, and calls upon the parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/125, 14 December 2006, § 8, voting record: 70-0-91-31.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Demands the immediate internationally-supervised release of all persons arbitrarily or otherwise illegally detained and the immediate closure of all places of detention not authorized by and in compliance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/72, 9 March 1994, § 21, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Demands the immediate internationally supervised release of all persons arbitrarily or otherwise illegally detained and the immediate closure of all places of detention not authorized by or in compliance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/89, 8 March 1995, § 25, voting record: 44-0-7.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1996, the UN Commission on Human Rights acknowledged the release of prisoners in the former Yugoslavia and insisted that all parties continue to fulfil their commitments in conformity with the peace agreement to release without delay all civilians and combatants detained in connection with the conflict. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/71, 23 April 1996, § 12, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1996, the UN Commission on Human Rights strongly urged the Government of Myanmar “to release immediately … all detained political prisoners”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/80, 23 April 1996, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1998, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon the parties to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia “to release immediately any individuals held as a result of, or in relation to, any armed conflict between or among the parties”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1998/79, 22 April 1998, § 41(a), voting record: 41-0-12.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon “the parties to abide by their obligation under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/1, 14 April 2003, § 11, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon “the parties to abide by their obligation under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/4, 8 April 2004, § 7, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In 1996, in a statement by its Chairman on the situation of human rights in Chechnya, the UN Commission on Human Rights called for “the immediate release of all those who have been detained in connection with the conflict” in Chechnya. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Chairman’s statement on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1996/L.10/Add.10, 24 April 1996, § 87.
UN Secretary-General
The Mission dispatched by the UN Secretary-General to investigate the situation of prisoners of war in the Islamic Republic of Iran and in Iraq in 1988 reported that prisoners detained in the Islamic Republic of Iran who were not Iraqi nationals were considered by the Islamic Republic of Iran to be mercenaries and could therefore be executed according to custom. The Islamic Republic of Iran promised, however, that they would also be released after the cessation of hostilities. 
Mission dispatched by the UN Secretary-General on the situation of prisoners of war in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq, Report, UN Doc. S/20147, 24 August 1988, § 65.
UN Secretary-General
In 1991, in a report on the situation in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Secretary-General reported that between October and December 1991, the “ICRC has participated in a multilateral negotiating commission, meeting almost daily at Zagreb to discuss, among other issues, the release of prisoners” between Croatia and the Yugoslav People’s Army. 
UN Secretary-General, Report pursuant to Security Council resolution 721 (1991), UN Doc. S/23280, 11 December 1991, p. 7, § 18.
UN Secretary-General
In 1993, in a progress report on the situation in Somalia, the UN Secretary-General reported that, on 15 January 1993, as part of an informal preparatory meeting for a conference on national reconciliation in Somalia attended by 14 Somali political movements, it was agreed that “all POWs [prisoners of war] shall be freed and handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross and/or UNITAF. This process shall commence immediately and be completed by 1 March 1993.” 
UN Secretary-General, Progress report on the situation in Somalia, UN Doc. S/25168, 26 January 1993, § 9 and Annex III, Agreement on implementing the cease-fire and on modalities of disarmament, § IV.
UN Secretary-General
In 1996, in relation to the 1994 Lusaka Protocol concluded between the Government of Angola and the União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), the UN Secretary-General highlighted as a positive development the release of additional prisoners registered with the ICRC. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on UNAVEM III, UN Doc. S/1996/171, 6 March 1996, § 3.
UN Secretary-General
In 2001, in a report on the situation concerning Western Sahara, the UN Secretary-General stated:
During the past two months, there has regrettably been no progress towards the repatriation of the remaining 1,481 Moroccan prisoners of war held in camps in the Tindouf area of Algeria. The plight of these men, most of whom have been held for more than 20 years, is a humanitarian and human rights issue that should be addressed on an urgent basis. I once again call on the parties to arrange for the early repatriation of all prisoners, under the auspices of the ICRC. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the situation concerning Western Sahara, UN Doc. S/2001/398, 24 April 2001, § 9.
High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 1996, the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina commented that the release of all prisoners of war was an important part of the Agreement and expressed his serious concern at the unwillingness of the parties to fully comply with their obligations. 
High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Report, UN Doc. S/1996/190, 14 March 1996, Annex, § 74.
In another report later the same year, he stated:
Intensive pressure has resulted in the release of most prisoners registered by the ICRC who were detained in connection with the conflict. For the remaining prisoners, a process was devised whereby case files on persons alleged to have committed war crimes were passed to the ICTY for review. The parties complied fully with this process, including release of all persons for whom ICTY determined that there was insufficient evidence to warrant further detention. 
High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Report, UN Doc. S/1996/542, 10 July 1996, Annex, § 42.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1979 on the missing political prisoners in Chile, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly called on member States to urge the Chilean authorities to release all detained political prisoners. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 868, 5 June 1979, § 12(ii).
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1980 on the situation of human rights in Latin America, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly invited member States “to make vigorous representations to the governments of all countries holding political prisoners, designed to secure their release, and, when release is conditional upon their leaving the country, to grant entry visas to such prisoners”. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 722, 28 January 1980, § 11(g).
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1996 on refugees, displaced persons and reconstruction in certain countries of the former Yugoslavia, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly invited member States to support the ICRC in the implementation of its tasks under the 1995 Dayton Accords, namely to organize the release of prisoners as quickly as possible. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 1287, 24 January 1996, § 19(viii)(d).
Council of Europe Committee of Ministers
In 1996, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers reported that, in a joint communiqué in April 1996, the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan had stated that the immediate release by the parties of all hostages and prisoners of war was essential. 
Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, Doc. 7690, Supplementary reply to recommendation 1263 (1995) on the humanitarian situation of the refugee and displaced persons in Armenia and Azerbaijan, 29 October 1996, pp. 2–3.
European Parliament
In a resolution adopted in 1988 on the situation in Cyprus, the European Parliament drew the Ministers’ attention to the need to find a lasting solution to the problem of missing persons, particularly through the release of those missing who might be detained in prison. 
European Parliament, Resolution on the situation in Cyprus, 27 June 1988, §§ 7–8.
European Parliament
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation in Chechnya, the European Parliament urged the parties to implement the agreement signed by the two parties that same month, providing in particular for the release of soldiers taken prisoner. 
European Parliament, Resolution on the situation in Chechnya, 15 December 1994, § 5.
GCC Supreme Council
In 1991, in the Final Communiqué of its 12th Session, the GCC Supreme Council stressed, in particular, “the need for the full and speedy implementation of the terms of the cease-fire and all the provisions of Security Council resolution 687 (1991), particularly those relating to the immediate release of all prisoners and detainees, both Kuwaitis and third-country nationals”. 
GCC, Supreme Council, 12th Session, Kuwait, 23–25 December 1991, Final Communiqué, annexed to Letter dated 30 December 1992 from Kuwait to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/46/833-S/23336, 30 December 1991, p. 3.
GCC Supreme Council
In 1992, in the Final Communiqué of its 13th Session, the GCC Supreme Council took note of Iraq’s “infringement of the conditions of the cease-fire through its refusal to release prisoners from Kuwait and from other countries” and called on the international community “to continue exercising pressure on the Iraqi Regime until it fully complies by implementing all the Security Council resolutions, especially those regarding the release of Kuwaiti and other nationals held prisoners”. 
GCC, Supreme Council, 13th Session, Abu Dhabi, 21–23 December 1992, Final Communiqué, annexed to Letter dated 24 December 1992 from the UAE to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/47/845-S/25020, 30 December 1992, pp. 3–4.
GCC Supreme Council
In 1993, in the Final Communiqué of its 14th Session, the GCC Supreme Council called for “the release of all prisoners and detainees, both Kuwaitis and third-country nationals” held by Iraq in the wake of the Gulf War. 
GCC, Supreme Council, 14th Session, Riyadh, 20–22 December 1993, Final Communiqué, annexed to Letter dated 29 December 1993 from the UAE to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/49/56-S/26926, 30 December 1993, p. 4.
GCC Supreme Council
In 1994, in the Final Communiqué of its 15th Session, the GCC Supreme Council appealed to the members of the UN Security Council to “continue their earnest efforts to compel Iraq to take … steps towards genuine implementation of all Security Council resolutions, especially those relating to the release of all Kuwaiti and other prisoners and detainees”. 
GCC, Supreme Council, 15th Session, Manama, 19–21 December 1994, Final Communiqué, annexed to Letter dated 22 December 1994 from Bahrain to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/49/815-S/1994/1446, 22 December 1994, p. 3.
GCC Supreme Council
In 1995, in the Final Communiqué of its 16th Session, the GCC Supreme Council called on the international community to maintain pressure on Iraq until it completed implementation of the pertinent UN resolutions, “in particular those relating to the release of prisoners and detainees, both Kuwaitis and nationals of other States, whose extended suffering was in blatant violation of resolution 687 (1991) and the third and fourth Geneva Conventions”. 
GCC, Supreme Council, 16th Session, Muscat, 4–6 December 1995, Final Communiqué, annexed to Letter dated 29 December 1995 from Oman to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/51/56-S/1995/1070, 29 December 1995, p. 4.
League of Arab States Council
In a resolution adopted in 1989 on the Iran-Iraq situation, the League of Arab States Council decided:
to intensify efforts on all fronts for both sides to release the prisoners of war and to repatriate them in conformity with the Security Council’s Resolution no. 598/87 and the Third Geneva Convention, in order to end their sufferings and the social and humanitarian problems resulting from their sustained detention. 
League of Arab States, Council, Res. 4938, 13 September 1989, § 4.
League of Arab States Council
In a resolution on Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted in 1992, the League of Arab States Council called upon the Serb forces “to release all the prisoners in accordance with International Charters and customs”. 
League of Arab States, Council, Res. 5231, 13 September 1992, § 5.
League of Arab States Council
In two resolutions adopted in 1992 and 1993, the League of Arab States Council decided to call for the “release of the Lebanese nationals detained by the Israeli authorities”. 
League of Arab States, Council, Res. 5169, 29 April 1992, § 2; Res. 5324, 21 September 1993, § 2.
League of Arab States Council
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the follow-up of the Intifada’s developments, the League of Arab States Council decided “to ask the International Organisations concerned with Human Rights to exercise pressure on the Israeli authorities to release the Palestinian detainees immediately”. 
League of Arab States, Council, Res. 5414, 15 September 1994, § 4.
League of Arab States Council
In a resolution adopted in 1997, the League of Arab States Council decided:
To request the International Community to adopt all measures for Israel to immediately release all the Lebanese prisoners and hostages from the prisons and places of detention controlled by its forces, as this constitutes a breach of the provisions of international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and the Hague Convention of 1907. 
League of Arab States, Council, Res. 5635, 31 March 1997, § 3.
OAU Secretary General
In 1997, in a report on the situation in Angola, the OAU Secretary-General reported that, in accordance with the terms of the peace accords concluded between the two belligerents, the Angolan Government and União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) had both released, under ICRC auspices, all prisoners detained as a result of the conflict. 
OAU Secretary-General, Report on the situation in Angola, Doc. CM/2004 (LXVI)(e), 26 May 1997, § 13.
Organization of the Islamic Conference
In a resolution adopted in 1992 in the context of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the OIC Foreign Ministers requested the immediate release of prisoners in accordance with the agreement signed in Geneva under the auspices of the ICRC. 
OIC, Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, Res. 1/6-EX, 2 December 1992, § 22.
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
In a resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh adopted in 1995, the OSCE Ministerial Council urged the parties to the conflict “to release immediately all POWs [prisoners of war] and persons detained in connection with the conflict”. 
OSCE, Ministerial Council, Decision on the Minsk Process, Doc. MC(5).DEC/3, 8 December 1995, § 3.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1969)
The 21st International Conference of the Red Cross in 1969 adopted a resolution on the protection of prisoners of war in which it recognized that, irrespective of the 1949 Geneva Convention III, “the international community has consistently demanded humane treatment for prisoners of war, including … the prompt repatriation of seriously sick or wounded prisoners”. 
21st International Conference of the Red Cross, Istanbul, 6–13 September 1969, Res. XI.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1986)
The 25th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1986 adopted a resolution on respect for international humanitarian law in armed conflicts and action by the ICRC for persons protected by the Geneva Conventions in which it appealed to all parties involved in armed conflicts “to carry out the early repatriation by phases of prisoners of war in accordance with the Third Geneva Convention and further beyond its provisions as might be acceptable in the interest of humanitarian considerations”. 
25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23–31 October 1986, Res. I, § 3.
London Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Conclusions of the London Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 state that fulfilment of the 1995 Dayton Accords will require “full cooperation of the parties over the release of prisoners”. 
Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina, London, 8–9 December 1995, Conclusions, annexed to Letter dated 11 December 1995 from the United Kingdom to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/1995/1029, 12 December 1995, § 25.
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1999)
The Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003 adopted in 1999 by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent proposed that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that
prisoners of war are released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities, unless subject to due judicial process; the prohibition of taking hostages is strictly respected; the detention of prisoners and internees is not prolonged for bargaining purposes which practice is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. 
27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October–6 November 1999, Res. I, Annex 2, Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, Actions proposed for final goal 1.1, § 1(d).
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In a report on Panama in 1989, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recommended that the government take immediate steps to release individuals who had been detained for political reasons. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report on the situation of human rights in Panama, Doc. OEA/Ser.L/V/ll.76 Doc. 16 rev. 2, 9 November 1989, p. 61.
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
In its Prisoners of War (Eritreas Claim) partial award in 2003, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, in considering the obligation to release and return persons deprived of their liberty without delay, stated:
20. … [I]nternational law and practice recognize the importance of the timely release and return of POWs [prisoners of war], as demonstrated by Article 118 of [the 1949] Geneva Convention III which requires that such POWs “be released and repatriated without delay following the cessation of active hostilities.”
147. … [R]epatriation should occur at an early time and without unreasonable or unjustifiable restrictions or delays. At the same time, repatriation cannot be instantaneous. Preparing and coordinating adequate arrangements for safe and orderly movement and reception, especially of sick or wounded prisoners, may be time-consuming. Further, there must be adequate procedures to ensure that individuals are not repatriated against their will. 
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Prisoners of War, Eritrea’s Claim, Partial Award, 1 July 2003, §§ 20 and 147.
[footnotes in original omitted]
ICRC
According to the ICRC Commentary on the Additional Protocols, the grave breach specified in Article 85(4)(b) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I consists in the failure to repatriate seriously sick or wounded prisoners during hostilities in accordance with Article 109 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and all prisoners at the end of hostilities as required by Article 118 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III without valid and lawful reasons justifying the delay. The Commentary adds that, with regard to civilians, the breach consists in delaying the departure of foreign nationals who want to leave the territory in accordance with Articles 35 and 134 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV without valid and lawful reasons justifying such delay. 
Yves Sandoz et al. (eds.), Commentary on the Additional Protocols, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 3508–3509.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that “prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities” and that “the internment of civilian persons shall cease as soon as possible after the end of active hostilities”. Delegates also teach that “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war” constitutes a grave breach of the law of war. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 256, 257, 258, 723, 724 and 776(i).
ICRC
In a working paper on war crimes submitted in 1997 to the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, the ICRC, emphasizing the customary law nature of most of the grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, listed the “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians”, when committed wilfully and in violation of international humanitarian law, as a war crime to be subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC. 
ICRC, Working paper on war crimes submitted to the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, 14 February 1997, p. 2.
Chapelle
In the context of the conflict in Cuba, one commentator described witnessing “the surrender of hundreds of Batistianos from a small-town garrison”:
They were gathered within a hollow square of rebel Tommy-gunners and harangued by Raul Castro: “We hope that you will stay with us and fight against the master who so ill-used you. If you decide to refuse this invitation – and I am not going to repeat it – you will be delivered to the Cuban Red Cross tomorrow. Once you are under Batista’s orders again, we hope that you will not take arms against us. But, if you do, remember this: we took you this time. We can take you again. And when we do, we will not frighten or torture or kill you … If you are captured a second time or even a third … we will again return you exactly as we are doing now. 
D. Chapelle, How Castro Won, in T. N. Greene (ed.), The Guerrilla – And How to Fight Him: Selections from the Marine Corps Gazette, Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1962, p. 233; also cited in Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations, Basic Books, New York, 1977.
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A)
The Report on SPLM/A Practice states with regard to sections of the population who have fallen under its administration or who have been captured as prisoners of war: “The SPLM/A has followed the practice of allowing people to voluntarily return to the government side if they wish and to other areas held by rival factions.” According to the report, “this practice of the SPLM/A with respect to release and return of POWs [prisoners of war] and other categories loyal to the enemy side is in accordance with SPLM/A legislation on the war”. 
Report on SPLM/A Practice, 1998, Chapter 5.4, referring to SPLM/A, Penal and Disciplinary Laws, 4 July 1984, Section 32.
DRC Pledge of Commitment
In 2008, the armed groups party to the DRC Pledge of Commitment, “deeply deploring the insecurity that has prevailed for a long time in the province of North Kivu, causing massive displacements of populations and enormous suffering of civilians as well as massive violations of human rights”, made a commitment to “strictly observe rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law, notably … [to] release persons detained … for a crime of opinion or for belonging to insurgent organisations.”  
Acte d’engagement signé par le CNDP-Mouvement Politico-Militaire, la PARECO/FAP, les Mai-Mai Kasindien, les Mai-Mai Kifuafua, les Mai-Mai Vurondo, les Mai-Mai Mongol, l’UJPS, les Mai-Mai Rwenzori et le Simba avec l’engagement solennel des Représentants de la Communauté Internationale, facilitateurs du présent acte d’engagement – les Nations-Unies, la Conférence Internationale sur la Région des Grands Lacs, les Etats-Unis d’Amérique, l’Union Africaine, l’Union Européenne et le Gouvernement (Pledge of Commitment signed by the CNDP-Mouvement Politico-Militaire, PARECO/FAP, Mai-Mai Kasindien, Mai-Mai Kifuafua, Mai-Mai Vurondo, Mai-Mai Mongol, UJPS, Mai-Mai Rwenzori and Simba with the solemn commitment of the representatives of the international community, facilitators of this pledge of commitment – the United Nations, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the United States of America, the European Union and the Government), Goma, 23 January 2008, Preamble and Article III, §§ 1–5.
No data.
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners (July 1992)
Paragraph 1 of the Agreement on the Exchange of Prisoners between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia (July 1992) provided that prisoners “shall be released simultaneously by both parties, according to the principle ‘all for all’ and without conditions”. 
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners, reached under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, 28–29 July 1992, § 1.
London Programme of Action on Humanitarian Issues
Pursuant to Article 3(v) of the 1992 London Programme of Action on Humanitarian Issues, the parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina undertook “to abide by the following provision: … there should be unconditional and unilateral release under international supervision of all civilians currently detained”. 
Programme of Action on Humanitarian Issues agreed between the Co-chairmen of the London International Conference and the Parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, London, 27 August 1992, annexed to Report by the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1993/50, 10 February 1993, Annex III, Article 3(v).
Agreement between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners
Article 3 of the 1992 Agreement between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners provided: “All prisoners not accused of, or sentenced for, grave breaches of International Humanitarian Law … will be unilaterally and unconditionally released.” 
Agreement on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners, concluded between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representative of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Mate Boban (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 1 October 1992, Article 3.
Afghan Peace Accord
Paragraph 5 of the 1993 Afghan Peace Accord provided that there should be “immediate and unconditional release of all Afghan detainees held by the Government and different parties during the armed hostilities”. 
Peace Accord between the Islamic State of Afghanistan, Harkat-e-Inqilab-e-Islami, Mahaz-e-Milli, Harkat-e-Islami, Hizbe-e-Islami, Jabha-e-Nijat-e-Milli, Ahmadzai Ittehad-e-Islami and Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami, Islamabad, 7 March 1993, annexed to Letter dated 10 March 1993 from the permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/25398, 11 March 1993, § 5.
Ashgabat Protocol on Prisoner Exchange in Tajikistan
In paragraph 4 of the 1996 Ashgabat Protocol on Prisoner Exchange in Tajikistan, the Government of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition agreed “to deliver with the assistance of ICRC and in the presence of 5 family representatives, to return 26 prisoners of war, freed earlier by the opposition without preconditions, to their homes”. 
Protocol on the Implementation of a Humanitarian Action Involving the Exchange of Prisoners of War and Detainees, concluded between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition, Ashgabat, 21 July 1996, annexed to Report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation in Tajikistan, UN Doc. S/1996/754, 13 September 1996, § 4.
No data.
No data.
No data.
Algeria
During the Algerian war of independence, it was reported that:
Since the proclamation of the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic in September 1958, 40 French soldiers who had been taken prisoner were released by the ALN [Armée de Libération Nationale] without any condition. 20 were released in Algeria and 20 others were released in Tunisia and Morocco, through the Algerian Red Crescent. 
“La révolution algérienne tient au respect de l’homme”, El Moudjahid, Vol. 3, p. 57.
Iraq
In 2012, in a speech at the “Conference of Consolidation with Arab and Palestinian Detainees in the Prisons of Israeli Occupation”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq stated: “I would like to … renew our demand of instant and unconditional release of all Arab and Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli occupation prisons.” 
Iraq, Speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq at the “Conference of Consolidation with Arab and Palestinian Detainees in the Prisons of Israeli Occupation”, Baghdad, 11–12 December 2012, p. 3.
UN Security Council
In 1996, in a statement by its President on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council stressed that “the obligation to release prisoners is unconditional. Failure to do so constitutes a serious case of non-compliance.” It also noted “the readiness of the High Representative to propose measures to be taken against any party that fails to comply”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1996/15, 4 April 1996, p. 2.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN Commission on Human Rights called for “the unconditional … release of all prisoners of war” in Afghanistan. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/74, 8 March 1995, § 7, adopted without a vote.
This call was repeated in a resolution adopted in 1996. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/75, 23 April 1996, § 7, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1996, the UN Commission on Human Rights strongly urged the Government of Myanmar “to release … unconditionally all detained political prisoners”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/80, 23 April 1996, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1998, the UN Commission on Human Rights welcomed the release of prisoners of war in Afghanistan and called for “the unconditional … release of all remaining prisoners of war”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1998/70, 21 April 1998, § 7, adopted without a vote.
No data.
No data.
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
In its Prisoners of War (Eritreas Claim) partial award in 2003, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, in considering the obligation to release and return persons deprived of their liberty without delay, stated:
148. There is also a fundamental question whether and to what extent each Party’s obligation to repatriate depends upon the other’s compliance with its repatriation obligations. The language of Article 118 is absolute. Nevertheless, as a practical matter, and as indicated by state practice, any state that has not been totally defeated is unlikely to release all the POWs [prisoners of war] it holds without assurance that its own personnel held by its enemy will also be released, and it is unreasonable to expect otherwise.
149. The Commission finds that, given the character of the repatriation obligation and state practice, it is appropriate to consider the behavior of both Parties in assessing whether or when [one of the Parties] failed to meet its obligations under Article 118. In the Commission’s view, Article 118 does not require precisely equivalent behavior by each Party. However, it is proper to expect that each Party’s conduct with respect to the repatriation of POWs will be reasonable and broadly commensurate with the conduct of the other. Moreover, both Parties must continue to strive to ensure compliance with the basic objective of Article 118 – the release and repatriation of POWs as promptly as possible following the cessation of active hostilities. Neither Party may unilaterally abandon the release and repatriation process or refuse to work in good faith with the ICRC to resolve any impediments. 
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Prisoners of War, Eritrea’s Claim, Partial Award, 1 July 2003, §§ 148–149.
[footnotes in original omitted]
ICRC
In 1993, in a paper presented to the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, the ICRC reported that the agreed process for the release of detainees had come to a standstill when the Bosnian Serbs freed all prisoners and the other two parties did not release all their prisoners as promised during talks with the President of the ICRC. The Bosnian Government indicated that it was “ready to release all prisoners, except war criminals, after an amnesty had been proclaimed”. The Bosnian Serbs claimed that they had made “enough unilateral gestures”. In response, the ICRC stated that the closure of places of detention could “no longer be contingent on considerations of reciprocity … [and that all prisoners should] be released under ICRC auspices in unilateral and unconditional operations”. 
ICRC, Paper presented to the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, UN Doc. S/25050, 6 January 1993, Annex IV, pp. 14–15.
No data.
Agreement on the Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement annexed to the Dayton Accords
Article IX of the 1995 Agreement on the Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement annexed to the Dayton Accords included detailed provisions on prisoner exchange. 
General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Annex 1A, Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement, signed by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, Dayton, 22 November 1995, Article IX.
Lieber Code
Article 109(1) of the 1863 Lieber Code provides:
The exchange of prisoners of war is an act of convenience to both belligerents. If no general cartel has been concluded, it cannot be demanded by either of them. No belligerent is obliged to exchange prisoners of war. 
Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Order No. 100 by President Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., 24 April 1863, Article 109(1).
Brussels Declaration
Article 30 of the 1874 Brussels Declaration states: “The exchange of prisoners of war is regulated by a mutual understanding between the belligerent parties.” 
Project of an International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War, Brussels, 27 August 1874, Article 30.
Oxford Manual
Article 75 of the 1880 Oxford Manual provides: “Prisoners of war may be released in accordance with a cartel of exchange, agreed upon by the belligerent parties.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 75.
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
Article 3(a) of the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam provides: “In the event of the use of force and in case of armed conflict … it is a duty to exchange prisoners of war.” 
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, adopted at the 19th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, Res. 49/19-P, Cairo, 5 August 1990, annexed to Letter dated 19 September 1990 from the permanent representative of Egypt to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/45/421-S/21797, 20 September 1990, Article 3(a).
Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners
The 1991 Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners provides:
1. Both Parties commonly declare that they shall exchange all prisoners and all persons deprived of their liberty, according to the principle of “all for all”.
2. The word “prisoner” is understood as including all persons deprived of their liberty who are detained in detention centers or prisoner camps, regardless of whether a criminal or other procedure has been opened against them, an indictment drawn up or a condemnation, whether executory or not, pronounced, and regardless of the territory in which these persons are detained or the place where they were captured, or taken as hostages or deprived of their liberty or freedom of movement. 
Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners and of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Zagreb, 6 November 1991, §§ 1 and 2.
Protocol to the Moscow Agreement on a Cease-fire in Chechnya
Under Article 2 of the 1996 Protocol to the Moscow Agreement on a Cease-fire in Chechnya, a mutual exchange of lists of persons being detained was to be effected, and the exchange itself was to take place within two weeks. 
Agreement on a Cease-fire, the Cessation of Military Activities, and on Measures for a Settlement of the Armed Conflict on the Territory of the Chechen Republic, Moscow, 27 May 1996, Article 2.
Ashgabat Protocol on Prisoner Exchange in Tajikistan
In paragraph 1 of the 1996 Ashgabat Protocol on Prisoner Exchange in Tajikistan, the Government of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition agreed to conduct “a step-by-step exchange of an equal number of prisoners of war and detainees in accordance with the lists to be transmitted by the parties to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) before the end of the current round of inter-Tajik talks in Ashgabat”.  
Protocol on the Implementation of a Humanitarian Action Involving the Exchange of Prisoners of War and Detainees, concluded between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition, Ashgabat, 21 July 1996, annexed to Report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation in Tajikistan, UN Doc. S/1996/754, 13 September 1996, § 1.
Bishkek Memorandum
In the 1997 Bishkek Memorandum, concluded between the President of Tajikistan and the leader of the United Tajik Opposition, an agreement was reached “to resolve … the problem of the exchange of POW’s [prisoners of war] and prisoners in all its aspects and to work out the corresponding mechanism”. 
Bishkek Memorandum between the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and the leader of the United Tajik Opposition, Bishkek, 18 May 1997, annexed to UN Doc. S/1997/385, Letter dated 20 May 1997 from the permanent representative of Kyrgyzstan to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, 20 May 1997, Annex II.
Canada
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states:
2. … PW [prisoner-of-war] exchange is outside the provisions of [the 1949 Geneva Convention III] and although in the past there have been instances of the exchange of PW, man for man, in the course of truces or temporary cessation in hostilities, such instances are likely to be the exception.
3. Canada will not engage in PW exchange without the specific authority of the CDS [Chief of the Defence Staff]. When such authority is granted, the exchange is to take place under the supervision of the Protecting Power or the ICRC. 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 3H02.2–3.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) provides: “The parties to the conflict can reach an arrangement for the exchange of prisoners from both sides even before the war has ended. Exchanged prisoners of war may not return to active military service.” 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 54.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
The parties to the dispute can reach an arrangement for the exchange of prisoners-of-war from both sides even before the war has ended. Prisoners-of-war exchanged shall not be returned to active military service. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 34.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Exchange of prisoners may take place during the hostilities in accordance with agreements concluded between the Parties.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-42.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states that “[i]f a protecting power is appointed during an armed conflict … it may play a role in the treatment of prisoners of war. Examples might include the exchange of prisoners of war”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0714.
The manual also states:
In addition to possible action as a protecting power and to gathering information on prisoners of war, the ICRC fulfils the following tasks:
- mediation in the exchange of prisoners (of war or otherwise). 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0243.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
The exchange of prisoners of war is nowadays rare. The rule generally observed is to exchange man for man and rank for rank, with due allowance if titles of ranks or grades differ or if there is no exact equivalent. A condition is often made that the men exchanged shall not participate as soldiers in the war – in fact they are paroled. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 249.
The manual further specifies:
The exchange of prisoners may be carried out by means of so-called “cartels”. Nothing more is required than a simple statement agreed by the commanders, such agreement being arrived at by parlementaires, that is, negotiations conducted during truce, or by the exchange of letters. But for exchanges on a large scale commissioners are usually appointed, and commanders ought not as a rule in such cases to act without having previously reported to their government and taken instructions. In modern war between civilised States, an exchange of prisoners will rarely be carried out except by agreement between the governments concerned. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 250.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
8.146. [The exchange of prisoners of war during hostilities] is not a matter that is dealt with in the [the 1949 Geneva Convention III] but it is allowed by the customary law of armed conflict on such terms as may be agreed between the states concerned. The practice generally observed is to exchange soldier for soldier and rank for rank, with due allowance for differences in titles of ranks or grades. The agreement between the parties, sometimes known as a cartel, may lay down other conditions, for example, that the soldiers concerned do not take any further active role in the conflict. The agreement may be negotiated during a truce by opposing commanders, or by exchange of letters between belligerent states, often through the intermediary of a neutral state.
8.146.1. Nowadays such an exchange would rarely be carried out except by agreement at government level between the parties concerned and it is likely that the assistance of a protecting power or the ICRC would be sought. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 8.146–8.146.1.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides:
Exchange of prisoners of war, other than those whose repatriation is required by … [the 1949 Geneva Convention III], may be effected by agreement between the belligerents. No belligerent is obliged to exchange prisoners of war, except if a general cartel requiring such exchange has been concluded. The conditions for exchange are as prescribed by the parties thereto, and exchanges need not necessarily be on the basis of number for number or rank for rank. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 197.
No data.
No data.
Argentina
In 1994, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Tajikistan and along the Tajik-Afghan border, Argentina noted that the exchange of prisoners showed the will of the parties to cooperate in finding a solution to the crisis in Tajikistan. 
Argentina, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3482, 1 January 1994, p. 11.
China
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Tajikistan and along the Tajik-Afghan border, China welcomed the agreements on the exchange of detainees and prisoners of war. 
China, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3544, 16 June 1995, p. 5.
Honduras
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Tajikistan and along the Tajik-Afghan border, Honduras welcomed the agreements on the exchange of detainees and prisoners of war. 
Honduras, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3544, 16 June 1995, p. 4.
Indonesia
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Tajikistan and along the Tajik-Afghan border, Indonesia drew particular attention to the provision asking parties to implement the agreed confidence-building measures, including the exchange of detainees and prisoners of war. 
Indonesia, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3544, 16 June 1995, p. 4.
United States of America
In 1994, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Tajikistan and along the Tajik-Afghan border, the United States encouraged the parties to resume discussions with the intention of participating in additional exchanges of prisoners. 
United States, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3482, 1 January 1994, p. 9.
United States of America
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States stated that an exchange of prisoners between the Bosnian Serb side and the Bosnian Government gave reason for hope. 
United States, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3591, 9 November 1995, p. 12.
UN Security Council
In a resolution on Tajikistan adopted in 1995, the UN Security Council urged the parties to cooperate fully with the ICRC in facilitating “the exchange of detainees and prisoners of war”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 999, 16 June 1995, § 8, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN Security Council called upon the Government of Angola and the União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) “to accelerate the exchange of prisoners”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1008, 7 August 1995, § 7, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution on Afghanistan adopted in 1996, the UN Security Council noted that proposals had been made for the “exchange of prisoners of war”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1076, 22 October 1996, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 1998, in a statement by its President on the situation in Afghanistan, the UN Security Council called upon the parties to agree on an exchange of prisoners. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1998/22, 14 July 1998.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN Commission on Human Rights called for the “simultaneous release of all prisoners of war” in Afghanistan. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/74, 8 March 1995, § 7, adopted without a vote.
This call was repeated in a resolution adopted in 1996. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/75, 23 April 1996, § 7, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1998, the UN Commission on Human Rights welcomed the release of prisoners of war in Afghanistan and called for the “simultaneous release of all remaining prisoners of war”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1998/70, 21 April 1998, § 7, adopted without a vote.
UN Secretary-General
In 1991, in a report on the former Yugoslavia, the UN Secretary-General reported that, on 9 November 1991, in the context of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, more than 700 prisoners were released simultaneously by the parties under ICRC supervision. 
UN Secretary-General, Report pursuant to Security Council resolution 721 (1991), UN Doc. S/23280, 11 December 1991, p. 7, § 18.
UN Secretary-General
In 1992, in a report on the former Yugoslavia, the UN Secretary-General reported that UNPROFOR had been involved in arranging and witnessing exchanges of prisoners of war. 
UN Secretary-General, Report pursuant to Security Council resolution 752 (1992), UN Doc. S/24000, 26 May 1992, p. 3, §§ 9–10.
UN Secretary-General
In 1995, in a report on the situation in Tajikistan, the UN Secretary-General reported that it had been agreed during the fourth round of talks in May/June 1995 that both sides would exchange an equal number of detainees and prisoners of war by 20 July 1995. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the situation in Tajikistan, UN Doc. S/1995/472, 10 June 1995, pp. 2–3, § 8(b).
UN Secretary-General
In 1995, in a report on violations of IHL in the areas of Srebrenica, Žepa, Banja Luka and Sanski Most in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Secretary-General reported that a prisoner exchange between the Bosnian Government and Bosnian Serb armies had occurred on 30 October 1995. 
UN Secretary-General, Report pursuant to Security Council resolution 1019 (1995) on violations of IHL in the areas of Srebrenica, Žepa, Banja Luka and Sanski Most, UN Doc. S/1995/988, 27 November 1995, p. 15, § 70.
UN Secretary-General
In 1996, in a report on UNAVEM III in Angola, the UN Secretary-General, with reference to the Peace Accords concluded between the Government of Angola and the União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) providing for the release of prisoners of war based on lists presented to the ICRC, the UN Secretary-General highlighted as a positive development the release of additional prisoners registered with the ICRC. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on UNAVEM III, UN Doc. S/1996/171, 6 March 1996, § 3.
UN Secretary-General
In 1996, in a report concerning the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia, the UN Secretary-General reported that, following a series of hostage-taking incidents, the two sides had agreed to exchange all hostages. In the space of one month, UNOMIG assisted in the exchange of 13 hostages, 11 held by the Abkhaz side, 2 by the Georgian side. 
UN Secretary-General, Report concerning the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia, UN Doc. S/1996/284, 15 April 1996, § 33.
UN Secretary-General
In 1997, in a report on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation, the UN Secretary-General reported that the OSCE had provided the following information:
There are still wartime detainees on both sides. The cease-fire and initial peace process agreements called for the exchange of prisoners all against all, a principle rhetorically accepted by both side. In fact, many prisoners held by the Chechens had been released in the past months, but there have not been commensurate releases on the federal side. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1997/10, 20 March 1997, p. 6.
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)
In 1994, in its final report on grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of IHL committed in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992) found, with respect to its investigation into prison camps, that civilians were often arrested and detained by both Bosnian Government and Bosnian Croat forces, as well as Croat forces in Croatia, for the purpose of collecting prisoners for exchange. It was reported that the Bosnian Croats divided their prisoners at the Central Mostar Prison into five categories, one of which was prisoners held for the purposes of exchange. 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Final report, Annex Summaries and Conclusions, UN Doc. S/1994/674/Add.2 (Vol. I), 31 May 1995, §§ 235, 281, 289, 290, 387 and 456.
UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador
In its report in 1993, the UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador noted that, following the abduction of the President’s daughter and a second woman by a Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) commando in September 1985, several weeks of secret negotiations took place in which the Salvadoran Church and diplomats from the region acted as mediators. As a result, the two women were released in exchange for 22 political prisoners. Simultaneously, 25 mayors and local officials abducted by the FMLN were released in exchange for 101 war-wounded guerrillas, whom the government allowed to leave the country. 
UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador, Report, UN Doc. S/25500, 1 April 1993, Annex, pp. 169–170.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In 1994, in a report on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, it was stated that 500 Muslim prisoners held by Bosnian Croat forces and 364 Croat prisoners held by the Bosnian governmental forces had been released simultaneously on 20 March 1994. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Report on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Doc. 7065, 12 April 1994, p. 8.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In 1996, in an information report on the situation in Chechnya submitted to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, it was noted that the cease-fire signed by both parties included measures for the exchange of detainees and concluded that this was the first phase to be implemented. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Information report on the situation in Chechnya, Doc. 7560, 24 June 1996, Conclusions, § 6.
League of Arab States Council
In a resolution adopted in 1987, the League of Arab States Council decided:
To invite Iran to respond to the call for peace and to agree to a peaceful solution of the conflict, in accordance with the UN Charter and International Law reflected in the Security Council Resolution No. 58 (1986), on the following bases: … A comprehensive and total exchange of prisoners. 
League of Arab States, Council, Res. 4646, 6 April 1987, § 1(3).
International Conference of the Red Cross (1973)
The 22nd International Conference of the Red Cross in 1973 adopted a resolution in which it stated that it “received with great satisfaction the welcome news concerning the exchange of prisoners of war in the Middle East”. 
22nd International Conference of the Red Cross, Teheran, 8–15 November 1973, Res. XIX.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In the section of its Annual Report 1986–1987 concerning the situation of human rights in El Salvador, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights noted that agreement was reached between the Salvadoran Government and the rebel forces to release a colonel who had been kidnapped by the rebels as a prisoner of war in exchange for a number of trade unionists, members of an NGO and disabled Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) militants. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Annual Report 1986–1987, Doc. OEA/Ser.L/V/II.71 Doc. 9 rev. 1, 22 September 1987, p. 225.
No data.
No data.
Geneva Convention III
Article 109, third paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides: “No sick or injured prisoner of war who is eligible for repatriation may be repatriated against his will during hostilities.” 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 109, third para.
Geneva Convention III
Article 118, third paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III requires that prisoners of war be informed of the measures adopted for their release and repatriation. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 118, third para.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 45, fourth paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “In no circumstances shall a protected person be transferred to a country where he or she may have reason to fear persecution for his or her political opinions or religious beliefs.” 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 45, fourth para.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 135, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides that an internee can elect to return to his/her country on his/her own responsibility. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 135, second para.
Panmunjom Armistice Agreement
Article III(51)(a) of the 1953 Panmunjom Armistice Agreement provides:
Within sixty (60) days after this Armistice Agreement becomes effective, each side shall, without offering any hindrance, directly repatriate and hand over in groups all those prisoners of war in its custody who insist on repatriation to the side to which they belonged at the time of capture. 
Agreement between the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, on the other hand, concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, Panmunjom, 27 July 1953, Article III(51)(a).
Article III(53) adds: “All the sick and injured prisoners of war who insist upon repatriation shall be repatriated with priority.” 
Agreement between the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, on the other hand, concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, Panmunjom, 27 July 1953, Article III(53).
Paragraph I(3) of the Annex to the Agreement, establishing the terms of reference of a Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission, further provides: “No force or threat of force shall be used against the prisoners of war … to prevent or effect their repatriation.” 
Agreement between the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, on the other hand, concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, Panmunjom, 27 July 1953, Annex, § I(3).
Agreement on the Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement annexed to the Dayton Accords
Article IX of the 1995 Agreement on the Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement annexed to the Dayton Accords provided:
The Parties shall take no reprisals against any prisoner or his/her family in the event that the prisoner refuses to be transferred … The Parties shall permit the ICRC to privately interview each prisoner at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to his or her release for the purpose of implementing and monitoring the plan, including determination of the onward destination of each prisoner. 
General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Annex 1A, Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement, signed by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, Dayton, 22 November 1995, Article IX.
Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners
The 1991 Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners provides:
6. The signatories of the present agreement agree that no prisoner shall be returned against his will and that each prisoner shall have the opportunity to express freely his will to the representative of the ICRC.
7. The signatories of the present agreement undertake not to exercise any pressure on the prisoners in order to persuade them to refuse or accept the return.
8. The signatories of the present agreement solemnly undertake not to take any reprisals against prisoners who refuse to return or their families.  
Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners and of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Zagreb, 6 November 1991, §§ 6–8.
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners (July 1992)
Paragraph 3 of the Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners (July 1992) provided: “Each prisoner is interviewed in private by ICRC delegates and is entitled to refuse repatriation.” 
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners, reached under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, 28–29 July 1992, § 3.
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Release and Repatriation of Prisoners
Article 1(4) of the 1992 Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Release and Repatriation of Prisoners provides:
The prisoners present at this operation shall be interviewed in private by ICRC delegates on their will to be repatriated. Those who wish to be repatriated are immediately handed over by ICRC delegates to the other side. Those who refuse to be repatriated are released on the spot – except, until the amnesty provided for in Article 2(2) becomes available to them, if they are accused of or sentenced for a crime – and may reach, with the assistance of the ICRC, the place of their choice. 
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the implementation of the July 1992 Agreement on the Release and Repatriation of Prisoners, Budapest, 7 August 1992, Article 1(4).
Agreement between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners
Article 3(6) of the 1992 Agreement between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners provides:
Each prisoner to be released has the right to express to the ICRC in a private interview his free will on whether he wishes to be released and transferred according to the specific ICRC plan of operation, or wishes to be released on the spot, or wishes to remain in detention. 
Agreement on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners, concluded between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representative of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Mate Boban (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 1 October 1992, Article 3(6).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) and Law of War Manual (1989) provide: “No sick or injured prisoner who is eligible for repatriation may be repatriated against his will during hostilities.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 2.091; Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 3.31.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states: “Seriously wounded and sick PWs [prisoners of war] must be repatriated as soon as they are fit to travel except that PWs cannot be involuntarily repatriated during the hostilities.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1046.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “Seriously wounded and sick PW [prisoners of war] must be repatriated as soon as they are fit to travel except that PW cannot be involuntarily repatriated during hostilities.” 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 10.58.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “PWs [prisoners of war] should not be repatriated against their wishes during hostilities.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 10-6, § 49.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of prisoners of war (PWs): “PWs should not be repatriated against their wishes during hostilities.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1035.
In its chapter on the treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power and, more specifically, in a section entitled “Aliens in the territory of a party to the conflict”, the manual states: “In no circumstances may a protected person be transferred to a state where he or she has reason to fear persecution on account of his political opinions or religious beliefs.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1127.2.
Canada
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states that “no PW [prisoner of war] who is eligible for repatriation may be repatriated against his wishes”. 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 3H03.1.a.
With regard to asylum for prisoners of war, the manual states:
It is Canadian policy that PW should not be repatriated against their will. Arrangements for PW who do not wish to return to their state of origin will depend on the circumstances at the time but may include applications for asylum under normal procedures. 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 3H04.4.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states: “No prisoner of war may be repatriated against his will during the hostilities.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 732.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states: “As a general rule, prisoners of war should not be required to return to their country if they do not wish to, and an attempt should be made to find a solution to their problem via third-party States.” 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 54.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “Prisoners-of-war must not be forced to return to their own country if they do not want to do so, and solutions must be found for their problems through third countries.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 34.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states:
193. The [1949 Geneva] Convention [III] provides for direct repatriation (return to country of origin) and hospitalization in a neutral country:
C. no sick or injured prisoner of war may be repatriated against his will during hostilities. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 193(C).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “No sick or injured prisoner of war who is eligible for repatriation may be repatriated against his will during hostilities.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VII-12, § 6.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “During the hostilities, repatriation of the wounded and sick may not take place against their will.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-42.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “A wounded or sick prisoner of war who is eligible for repatriation may not be returned to his own country against his will during the hostilities.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0750.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
Some prisoners of war may decline to be repatriated because they fear the consequences they might face when they return to their own country. For example, they may be accused of treason or aiding the enemy, because they are residents in the country of the detaining power or a third State. In such circumstances, the prisoner of war should not be repatriated and an alternative solution should be found. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 52.e.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states:
Some prisoners of war may decline to be repatriated because they fear the consequences they might face when they return to their own country. For example, they may be accused of treason or aiding the enemy because they are residents in the country of the detaining power or a third State. In such circumstances, the prisoner of war should not be repatriated and an alternative solution should be found. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 53(f), p. 261.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “No prisoner of war may be repatriated against his will during the hostilities.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 8.8.(a).1.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “In no case shall sick or injured prisoners of war be repatriated against their will during hostilities.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 8.8.a.(1).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “No prisoner may be repatriated against his will during hostilities.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 142(3).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
Prisoners of war who are seriously sick are entitled to be sent back to their own country, regardless of number or rank, after having been cared for until they are fit to travel. No sick or injured prisoner of war who is eligible for repatriation under this provision may, however, be repatriated against his will during hostilities. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 251.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
A more contentious issue is whether prisoners of war must be repatriated even against their will. Recent practice of states indicates that they should not. It is United Kingdom policy that prisoners of war should not be repatriated against their will. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 8.170.
[emphasis in original]
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides: “No sick or injured prisoner of war who is eligible for repatriation may be repatriated against his will during hostilities.” 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 188.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “No wounded and sick PW [prisoner of war] eligible for repatriation may be repatriated against his will during hostilities.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 13-10.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Articles 109 and 118 of the Geneva Convention III and Articles 45 and 135 of the Geneva Convention IV, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(a).
No data.
Croatia
A communiqué issued by the Croatian Ministry of Defence after the operation in Western Slavonia in 1995, stated that during the armed conflict in Croatia, the captured combatants of the adverse party entitled to amnesty were released and, depending on their choice, were “allowed to choose either to stay in Croatia as peaceful citizens or to leave the country”. 
Croatia, Ministry of Defence Communiqué after the operation in Western Slavonia, 5 May 1995.
Malaysia
In 2010, during the consideration of the status of the 1977 Additional Protocols by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, a statement of the delegation of Malaysia was summarized by the Committee in its records as follows:
8. [The delegate of Malaysia] said that …
10. … [t]he laws of naval warfare incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality …
11. [In the case of the attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on the Mavi Marmara and five accompanying vessels in May 2010] … [w]here vessels were captured, the protections provided in the Second and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949 and [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I continued to apply to the persons on board the vessels. 
Malaysia, Statement by the delegation of Malaysia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 18 October 2010, as published in the summary record of the 13th meeting, 8 December 2010, UN Doc. A/C.6/65/SR.13, §§ 8, 10 and 11.
Republic of Korea
Upon accession to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the Republic of Korea stated: “The Republic of Korea interprets the provisions of Article 118 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention III], paragraph 1, as not binding upon a Power detaining prisoners of war to forcibly repatriate its prisoners against their openly and freely expressed will.” 
Republic of Korea, Interpretative declarations made upon accession to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, 16 August 1966.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Security Council:
Recalls that, by its resolution 1565, the Council has mandated MONUC to support operations led by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to disarm foreign combatants, and to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of disarmed foreign combatants and their dependants. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1649, 21 December 2005, § 9, voting record: 15-0-0.
No data.
No data.
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
In its Prisoners of War (Eritreas Claim) partial award in 2003, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission stated that “there must be adequate procedures to ensure that individuals are not repatriated against their will”. 
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Prisoners of War, Eritrea’s Claim, Partial Award, 1 July 2003, § 147.
(footnote in original omitted)
ICRC
The ICRC Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention states: “Where the repatriation of a prisoner of war would be manifestly contrary to the general principles of international law for the protection of the human being, the Detaining Power may, so to speak, grant him asylum.” To this effect, “[t]he supervisory bodies must be able to satisfy themselves without any hindrance that the requests have been made absolutely freely and in all sincerity, and to give prisoners of war any information which may set at rest groundless fears”. 
Jean S. Pictet (ed.), Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention, ICRC, Geneva, 1960, pp. 547–548.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that seriously wounded and seriously sick prisoners of war may not be repatriated against their will during hostilities. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 723.
ICRC
According to the ICRC, in every repatriation operation in which the ICRC has played the role of neutral intermediary, the parties to the conflict have accepted the ICRC’s conditions for participation. One of these conditions is that the ICRC be able to verify, during private interviews, that protected persons are not repatriated against their will.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 2000 in the context of the conflict in Western Sahara, the ICRC stated that on 14 December 2000 it had repatriated 201 Moroccan prisoners released by the Polisario Front. Before the repatriation, ICRC delegates interviewed the prisoners individually to make sure that they were being repatriated of their own free will. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 00/46, Morocco/Western Sahara: 201 Moroccan prisoners released and repatriated, 14 December 2000.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 2002 in the context of the conflict in Western Sahara, the ICRC stated that on 7 July 2002 it had repatriated 101 Moroccan prisoners released by the Polisario Front. Before the operation, ICRC delegates had interviewed the prisoners individually to make sure that they were being repatriated of their own free will. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 02/38, Morocco/Western Sahara: 101 Moroccan prisoners released and repatriated, 7 July 2002.
World Veterans Federation
In a resolution adopted at its conference in Seoul in November 1997, the World Veterans Federation demanded that prisoners of war and persons who went missing during the Korean War be returned according to their freely expressed will. 
World Veterans Federation, Chosun Daily News, Seoul, 15 November 1997, § 2.
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A)
The Report on SPLM/A Practice states that, with regard to sections of the population who have fallen under its administration or who have been captured as prisoners of war, “the SPLM/A has followed the practice of allowing people to voluntarily return to the government side if they wish and to other areas held by rival factions”. 
Report on SPLM/A Practice, 1998, Chapter 5.4.
Geneva Convention III
Article 109 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides: “Parties to the conflict are bound to send back to their own country … seriously wounded and seriously sick prisoners of war.” 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 109.
(emphasis added)
Geneva Convention III
Article 118 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides: “Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.” 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 118.
(emphasis added)
Geneva Convention IV
Article 134 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV leaves the choice between return to the last place of residence and repatriation, while Article 135 provides that the internee can elect to return to his/her country on his/her own responsibility. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Articles 134 and 135.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 45 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “In no circumstances shall a protected person be transferred to a country where he or she may have reason to fear persecution for his or her political opinions or religious beliefs.” 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 45.
London Programme of Action on Humanitarian Issues
Pursuant to Article 2(d) of the 1992 London Programme of Action on Humanitarian Issues, the parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina agreed that when the secure release and return of civilians to their homes was not immediately feasible, the following options should be adopted:
–repatriation to areas under the control of their respective ethnic authorities;
–choosing to stay temporarily in the area of detention;
–relocation in areas away from the conflict under international supervision;
–temporary refuge in third countries. 
Programme of Action on Humanitarian Issues agreed between the Co-chairmen of the London International Conference and the Parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, London, 27 August 1992, annexed to Report by the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1993/50, 10 February 1993, Annex III, Article 2(d).
Cotonou Agreement on Liberia
Article 10 of the 1993 Cotonou Agreement on Liberia provided that all prisoners of war and detainees be immediately released to the Red Cross authority in an area where such prisoners or detainees were detained, for onward transmission to encampment sites or the authority of the prisoner of war or detainee. 
Cotonou Peace Agreement on Liberia between the Interim Government of National Unity of Liberia (IGNU) of the first part and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) of the second part and the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) of the third part, Cotonou, 25 July 1993, annexed to Letter dated 6 August 1993 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Benin to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/26272, 9 August 1993, Article 10.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that prisoners of war “may be transferred by the Detaining Power … to their State of origin at the end of hostilities”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 105.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “At the end of hostilities, prisoners of war must be liberated and repatriated to their state of origin.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 264, § 621.
The manual also states that with regard to prisoners of war “the obligation arises to … repatriate them (to their home) after the end of hostilities”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 111, § 382; see also p. 153, § 441 and p. 179, § 491.A.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Articles 109 and 118 of the Geneva Convention III and Articles 45, 134 and 135 of the Geneva Convention IV, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(a).
No data.
Germany
In 1992, the German Foreign Minister declared that Germany was willing to receive 6,000 detainees from Serb detention camps in order to make their release possible. A statement in favour of this measure was supported by all political parties in Parliament. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Speech by Dr Kinkel, Minister of Defence, 10 December 1992, Plenarprotokoll 12/128, pp. 11102–11112; Speech by Representative Scharrenbroich, 10 December 1992, Plenarprotokoll 12/128, p. 11099.
Malaysia
In 2010, during the consideration of the status of the 1977 Additional Protocols by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, a statement of the delegation of Malaysia was summarized by the Committee in its records as follows:
8. [The delegate of Malaysia] said that …
10. … [t]he laws of naval warfare incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality …
11. [In the case of the attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on the Mavi Marmara and five accompanying vessels in May 2010] … [w]here vessels were captured, the protections provided in the Second and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949 and [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I continued to apply to the persons on board the vessels. 
Malaysia, Statement by the delegation of Malaysia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 18 October 2010, as published in the summary record of the 13th meeting, 8 December 2010, UN Doc. A/C.6/65/SR.13, §§ 8, 10 and 11.
Nigeria
According to the Report on the Practice of Nigeria, at the end of the Nigerian civil war in 1970, the inhabitants of the former Biafran enclave were released so that they could return to their respective towns. 
Report on the Practice of Nigeria, 1997, Chapter 5.4.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1980 in the context of the independence struggle in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), the UN Security Council called upon the UK Government to take all necessary steps to release any South African political prisoners, including captured freedom fighters in southern Rhodesia, and to ensure their safe passage to any country of their choice. 
UN Security Council, Res. 463, 2 February 1980, § 7, voting record: 14-0-0-1.
No data.
No data.
No data.
No data.
No data.
Geneva Convention III
Articles 46–48 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III, which contain extensive provisions relating to the conditions in which transfer of prisoners of war shall take place, are also applicable to the return of prisoners of war. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Articles 46–48.
Additional Protocol II
Article 5(4) of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides: “If it is decided to release persons deprived of their liberty, necessary measures to ensure their safety shall be taken by those so deciding”. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 5(4). Article 5 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.50, 3 June 1977, p. 92.
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners (March 1992)
Under Article VII of the Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners (March 1992), the parties pledged “to undertake the necessary measures to ensure safety in the places of exchange, for all phases of the exchange, as well as during the arrival and departure of all persons included in the exchange”. 
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners, Pècs, 20 March 1992, Article VII.
No data.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) reproduces Articles 46–48 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, §§ 2.042–2.044.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides, with regard to non-international armed conflicts: “When persons who have been detained or interned are released, the detaining authority is obliged to take such steps as are necessary to ensure their safety.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 17-3, § 27.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on non-international armed conflicts: “When persons who have been detained or interned are released, the detaining authority is obliged to take such steps as are necessary to ensure their safety.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1715.4.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) provides that when prisoners of war are released, their security must be ensured. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 102.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides that, in both international and non-international armed conflicts, the detaining authority is obliged to take such steps as are necessary to ensure the safety of released detainees. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1814.
The manual also provides that prisoners of war are to be fed and provided with sufficient provisions if released. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 919.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) reproduces Articles 46–48 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, §§ 122–125.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Articles 46–48 of the Geneva Convention III, as well as any “contravention” of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, including violations of Article 5(4), are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
No data.
Nepal
In 2004, in a declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, the Prime Minister of Nepal stated: “While releasing from detention, the dignity and rights of the person shall be guaranteed providing credible evidence of the release from detention.”  
Nepal, Declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, 26 March 2004, § 9.
Netherlands
In 2006, in reply to a written question concerning the treatment of detainees in Iraq, the Minister of Defence of the Netherlands stated:
The Dutch armed forces bear responsibility for the persons they arrest. After the transfer, this responsibility shifts to the receiving party. The Third Geneva Convention does oblige the transferring party (in this situation the Netherlands) to take corrective measures against the receiving party or to request that the detainee be transferred back when the transferring party is notified that the receiving party does not satisfy its obligations under the Geneva Conventions. The Dutch troops are obliged to offer arrested persons guarantees and treatment which are applicable to prisoners of war. 
Netherlands, Lower House of Parliament, Statement by the Minister of Defence, Handelingen, 2003–2004 Session, 25 May 2004, Appendix No. 1630, p. 3450.
Somalia
In 2011, in its report to the Human Rights Council, Somalia stated:
Somalia has not ratified AP II [1977 Additional Protocol II] and it is therefore not directly applicable to Somalia as a matter of treaty law. The Government is aware that many provisions of AP II represent customary IHL rules and therefore apply to the situation in Somalia. Such provisions include … Article 5 prescribing humane treatment of persons whose liberty ha[s] been restricted … due to the fact that these norms are reflected in Common Article 3 of the [1949] Geneva Conventions. 
Somalia, Report to the Human Rights Council, 11 April 2011, UN Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/11/SOM/1, § 75.
United States of America
According to the Report on US Practice, “Articles 4, 5 and 6 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol II] reflect general US policy on treatment of persons in the power of an adverse party in armed conflicts governed by common Article 3” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The report also notes: “It is the opinio juris of the US that persons detained in connection with an internal armed conflict are entitled to humane treatment as specified in Articles 4, 5 and 6 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol II].” 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 5.3.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1992 in the context of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council authorized UNPROFOR to engage in the protection of convoys of released detainees if requested by the ICRC. 
UN Security Council, Res. 776, 14 September 1992, § 2, voting record: 12-0-3.
UN Security Council
In 1998, in a statement by its President on Afghanistan, the UN Security Council demanded that “the Taliban release other Iranians detained in Afghanistan and ensure their safe and dignified passage out of Afghanistan without further delay”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1998/27, 15 September 1998, p. 1.
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Panmunjom Armistice Agreement
Article III(51)(b) of the 1953 Panmunjom Armistice Agreement provides:
Each side shall release all those remaining prisoners of war, who are not directly repatriated, from its military control and from its custody and hand them over to the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission for disposition in accordance with the provisions in the Annex hereto: “Terms of Reference for Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission”. 
Agreement between the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, on the other hand, concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, Panmunjom, 27 July 1953, Article III(51)(b).
Article III(57)(a) of the Agreement provides:
The joint Red Cross teams shall assist in the execution by both sides of those provisions of this Armistice Agreement relating to the repatriation of all the prisoners of war specified in Sub-paragraph 51a hereof, … by the performance of such humanitarian services as are necessary and desirable for the welfare of the prisoners of war. 
Agreement between the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, on the other hand, concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, Panmunjom, 27 July 1953, Article III (57)(a).
Peace Agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea
In Article 2(1) of the 2000 Peace Agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, both States agreed, in accordance with IHL, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and in cooperation with the ICRC, to release and repatriate without delay all prisoners of war and other persons detained as a result of the armed conflict. 
Agreement between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the State of Eritrea, Algiers, 12 December 2000, also known as the Algiers Agreement, Article 2(1).
Peace Accords between the Government of Angola and UNITA
Article II(3) of the 1991 Peace Accords between the Government of Angola and UNITA provided: “The cease-fire entails the release of all civilian and military prisoners who were detained as a consequence of the conflict … Verification of such release will be performed by the International Committee of the Red Cross.” 
Peace Accords between the Government of Angola and União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola, Lisbon, 1 May 1991, also known as Bicesse Accords, annexed to Letter dated 17 May 1991 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Angola to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/22609, 17 May 1991, Article II(3).
Final Act of the Paris Conference on Cambodia
Paragraph 13 of the 1991 Final Act of the Paris Conference on Cambodia stated:
The States participating in the Conference requested the International Committee of the Red Cross to facilitate, in accordance with its principles, the release of prisoners of war and civilian internees. They express their readiness to assist the ICRC in this task. 
Final Act of the Paris Conference on Cambodia, Paris, 30 July–30 August 1989 and 21–23 October 1991, para. 13.
Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners
Paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6 and 11 of the 1991 Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners provided that the ICRC was to be given the lists of prisoners before repatriation and to visit and record them. The parties also undertook to place all prisoners to be exchanged under the protection of the ICRC. Paragraph 9 also provided that EC observers were to be present during the exchange of prisoners. 
Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners and of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Zagreb, 6 November 1991, §§ 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 11.
Agreement No. 3 between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the ICRC Plan of Action
Section IV of the 1992 Agreement No. 3 between the Parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the ICRC Plan of Action provided: “ICRC delegates will lend their good offices in order to help conclude agreements to release [all persons captured or detained].” 
Agreement No. 3 between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representative of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community) on the ICRC Plan of Action, Geneva, 6 June 1992, Section IV.
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Release and Repatriation of Prisoners
Article 1(1) of the 1992 Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Release and Repatriation of Prisoners provided: “All prisoners visited by the ICRC and mentioned on the ICRC list appearing in Annex A shall be released in an operation which will take place under ICRC supervision in Nemetin on August 14, 1992.” 
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the implementation of the July 1992 Agreement on the Release and Repatriation of Prisoners, Budapest, 7 August 1992, Article 1(1).
London Programme of Action on Humanitarian Issues
Pursuant to Article 2(f) of the 1992 London Programme of Action on Humanitarian Issues, the parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina accepted that:
The international community will monitor the [release] … closely to ensure that the security and well being of those held in detention is assured. To this end, they undertake to give free access to representatives of the international community including the UN, ICRC, EC and the CSCE. 
Programme of Action on Humanitarian Issues agreed between the Co-chairmen of the London International Conference and the Parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, London, 27 August 1992, annexed to Report by the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1993/50, 10 February 1993, Annex III, Article 2(f).
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners
Article 3 of the 1992 Agreement between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners provided that “the ICRC will draw up specific plans of operation” for the release and transfer of the prisoners and be granted “all the facilities necessary for the implementation of the specific plans”. It also provided: “The ICRC shall be given the lists of prisoners before repatriation, shall visit and record them, and verify whether the return is voluntary.” 
Agreement between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the implementation of the July 1992 Agreement on the Release and Repatriation of Prisoners, Budapest, 7 August 1992, Article 3.
General Peace Agreement for Mozambique
The 1992 General Peace Agreement for Mozambique specified that arrangements for and verification of the release process were to be agreed on by the ICRC together with the parties. 
General Peace Agreement for Mozambique, along with seven Protocols and four related documents, Rome, 4 October 1992, annexed to Letter dated 6 October 1992 from the Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the UN addressed to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/24635, 8 October 1992.
Agreement among the Parties to Halt the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Article II of the 1993 Agreement among the Parties to Halt the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina provided that all detainees should be released on an all-for-all basis under the supervision of the Joint Commission which included the ICRC. On 9 November 1993, more than 700 prisoners were released simultaneously by the two parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina under ICRC supervision. 
Agreement among the Parties to Halt the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, signed by the representatives of the Hrvatsko Vijece Obrane (HVO) and the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ABiH), Kiseljac, 9 June 1993, Article II.
Cotonou Agreement on Liberia
Article 10 of the 1993 Cotonou Agreement on Liberia provided that all prisoners of war and detainees were to be immediately released to the Red Cross authority in an area where such prisoners or detainees were held, for onward transmission to encampment sites or the authority of the prisoner of war or detainee. 
Cotonou Peace Agreement on Liberia between the Interim Government of National Unity of Liberia (IGNU) of the first part and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) of the second part and the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) of the third part, Cotonou, 25 July 1993, annexed to Letter dated 6 August 1993 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Benin to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/26272, 9 August 1993, Article 10.
Ashgabat Protocol on Prisoner Exchange in Tajikistan
In paragraph 2 of the 1996 Ashgabat Protocol on Prisoner Exchange in Tajikistan, the Government of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition agreed “to request ICRC to provide assistance in the implementation of this humanitarian operation [of prisoner exchange], on the understanding that it will be conducted in accordance with the rules and procedures of that organization”. 
Protocol on the Implementation of a Humanitarian Action Involving the Exchange of Prisoners of War and Detainees, concluded between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition, Ashgabat, 21 July 1996, annexed to Report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation in Tajikistan, UN Doc. S/1996/754, 13 September 1996, § 2.
Lomé Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire
The 2002 Lomé Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire on the release of civilian and military prisoners provides:
The Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire (MPCI),
Deploring the capture by their respective forces of numerous civilian and military prisoners of war and desiring to alleviate their suffering;
Agree upon the following:
1. The civilian and military prisoners detained in the context of the hostilities which started on 19 September 2002 are released by each of the parties detaining them.
2. A committee is created, charged with the release of the civilian and military prisoners of the war, presided by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and consisting of the commander of the ECOWAS Force controlling the cessation of the hostilities, or his representative, or the commander of Operation Licorne while expecting the establishment of the West-African Force, of representatives of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, of the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire, of UNICEF, and of other pertinent agencies of the United Nations and of NGOs.
3. The committee charged with the release of the civilian and military prisoners of war immediately takes up its work by getting in contact with the competent authorities of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and the qualified representatives of the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire with a view to proceed to the immediate release of the civilian and military prisoners of the war. 
Lomé Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire, Peace talks at Lomé, First agreement on the release of civilian and military prisoners between the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire (Mouvement Patriotique de Côte d’Ivoire – MPCI), Lomé, 1 November 2002, preamble and §§ 1–3.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides:
The Detaining Power, the Power on which the prisoners of war depend, and a neutral Power agreed upon by these two Powers, shall endeavour to conclude agreements which will enable prisoners of war to be interned in the territory of the said neutral Power agreed until the close of the hostilities. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 2.097.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that prisoners of war “may be transferred by the Detaining Power to another (neutral) State … at the end of hostilities”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 105; see also Part I bis, p. 115.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states with regard to the treatment of prisoners of war: “At the end of hostilities, or at a suitable time, every facility must be given to the competent services of the International Committee of the Red Cross with regard to the repatriation of prisoners of war.” 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 33.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states: “Currently, the activities of the ICRC in Djibouti are focused on the following areas: … organizing family reunifications [and] repatriations.” 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 20.
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Algeria
The Report on the Practice of Algeria states that, according to publications of the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN), a large number of prisoners were eventually released during the Algerian war of independence, often through the intermediary of the ICRC. 
Report on the Practice of Algeria, 1997, Chapter 5.4.
Colombia
The Report on the Practice of Colombia states:
The release and return of persons deprived of their liberty in the Colombian armed conflict are customarily guaranteed by the ICRC and sometimes other civilian social organizations such as the Church, State-controlled bodies, and journalists, subject to an accord between the parties or the exercise of the ICRC’s right of initiative. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 5.4.
In 1997, according to the report:
To obtain the release of 70 soldiers, the Government and the guerrillas agreed to the demilitarization of an area measuring 13,161 square kilometres in the department of Caquetá. To guarantee the suspension of military operations so that the soldiers could be handed over, the two sides agreed to the presence in the demilitarized zone of representatives of the ICRC, the National Conciliation Commission, the national Government and other competent bodies. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 1.8, referring to the Agreement of Remolinos de Caguán, 3 June 1997, reprinted in El Colombiano, 4 June 1997, p. 5B.
Rwanda
In implementing the 1992 N’Sele Cease-fire Agreement, the Rwandan Government released 23 prisoners which were returned to the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) camp in July 1992 in cooperation with the ICRC, the Neutral Military Observer Group and the OAU. Similarly, the RPF released 11 prisoners using the ICRC as an intermediary. 
Association Rwandaise pour la défense des droits de la personne et des libertés publiques, Rapport sur les droits de l’homme au RwandaAnnée 1992, Kigali, 1993, pp. 45 and 51.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states: “The [Central Tracing] Agency works with the national authorities’ official information services, ICRC delegates and other institutions active in the field. It … carries out prisoner transfers and repatriations”. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 9.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on Tajikistan, the UN Security Council urged the parties “to cooperate fully with the International Committee of the Red Cross to facilitate the exchange of prisoners and detainees between the two sides”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1089, 13 December 1996, § 10, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1999, the UN Security Council reiterated “the obligation of Iraq, in furtherance of its commitment, to facilitate the repatriation of all Kuwaiti and third country nationals … and to extend all necessary cooperation to the International Committee of the Red Cross”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1284, 17 December 1999, § 13, voting record: 11-0-4.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), the UN Commission on Human Rights acknowledged the release of prisoners and demanded that the parties cooperate fully with the ICRC in the matter of release. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/71, 23 April 1996, § 12, adopted without a vote.
UN Secretary-General
In 1991, the UN Secretary-General reported that, according to the Head of the EC/CSCE Monitoring Mission in the Former Yugoslavia, “the Mission sought to serve as a channel of communication between opposing forces, to assist in organizing cease-fire arrangements and certain humanitarian steps, such as exchanges of prisoners”. 
UN Secretary-General, Report pursuant to § 3 of Security Council resolution 713 (1991), UN Doc. S/23169, 25 October 1991, § 14.
UN Secretary-General
In 1992, the UN Secretary-General reported that one of the main activities of ICRC delegates in Bosnia and Herzegovina was participation in the release of prisoners, while UNPROFOR was involved in “arranging and witnessing exchanges of prisoners of war”. 
UN Secretary-General, Report pursuant to Security Council resolution 752 (1992), UN Doc. S/24000, 26 May 1992, § 9.
UN Secretary-General
In 1992, in a report on UNAVEM II in Angola, the UN Secretary-General stated:
Under the Peace Accords, all civilians and military prisoners held by the government of Angola and UNITA [União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola] have to be released. ICRC confirmed that the first phase of this process, consisting of releases based on lists of prisoners presented to the ICRC by both sides, was concluded on 2 April 1992. By that time, in the presence of the ICRC, the government had released 940 prisoners and UNITA had released 3,099 prisoners. 
UN Secretary-General, Further report on the UN Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), UN Doc. S/24145, 24 June 1992, § 25.
UN Secretary-General
In 1993, in a progress report on the situation in Somalia, the UN Secretary-General reported that, as part of an informal preparatory meeting for a conference on national reconciliation in Somalia, it was agreed on 15 January 1993 that all prisoners of war would be freed and handed over to the ICRC and/or UNITAF. 
UN Secretary-General, Progress report on the situation in Somalia, UN Doc. S/25168, 26 January 1993, Annex III, § IV.
UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador
In its report in 1993, the UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador noted that the ICRC had frequently negotiated for and carried out the release and exchange of detainees by the different parties. 
UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador, Report, UN Doc. S/25500, 1 April 1993, Annex, p. 170.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1996 on refugees, displaced persons and reconstruction in certain countries of the former Yugoslavia, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly invited member States “to support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the implementation of the tasks conferred on it by the Dayton Agreement, namely to organise the liberation of prisoners as early as possible”. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 1287, 24 January 1996, § 19(viii)(d).
OAU Secretary-General
In 1997, in a report on the situation in Angola, the OAU Secretary-General reported that the Angolan Government and the União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) had both released, under ICRC auspices, all the prisoners detained as a result of the conflict. 
OAU, Council of Ministers, Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Angola, Doc. CM/2004 (LXVI)(e), 26 May 1997, § 13.
London Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Conclusions of the London Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 state that fulfilment of the 1995 Dayton Accords will require “full and immediate access by the ICRC to all places where prisoners and detainees are kept, to interview and register all of them prior to their release”. 
Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina, London, 8–9 December 1995, Conclusions, annexed to Letter dated 11 December 1995 from the United Kingdom to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/1995/1029, 12 December 1995, § 25.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 1992, the Commission heard that in July 1989, the Government of El Salvador had released a man who had been arrested on suspicion of membership of a terrorist group and remanded him to envoys from the ICRC. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case No. 10447 (El Salvador), Report, 14 February 1992, p. 1.
ICRC
In 1984, on the occasion of the release of the first three Soviet soldiers captured in Afghanistan by opposition movements and transferred to Switzerland by the ICRC on 28 May 1982 in order to serve out their internment period as agreed by the parties concerned, the ICRC issued a press release in which it made public its position regarding the victims of the Afghan conflict. The press release noted that eleven Soviet soldiers had accepted the proposal to serve their period of internment in Switzerland, stating: “The first three were transferred to Switzerland on 28 May 1982. Eight others arrived in August and October 1982, January and October 1983, and February and April 1984. One of them escaped to the Federal Republic of Germany in July 1983.” The press release added that upon reaching the end of their periods of internment, “in conformity with the spirit of the provisions of international humanitarian law in this respect, the Swiss authorities, under whose responsibility the soldiers are, have taken the measures necessary to repatriate those internees still wishing to return to their country of origin”. 
ICRC, Conflict in Afghanistan, IRRC, No. 241, 1984, pp. 239–240.
ICRC
The ICRC’s 1986 Annual Report detailed the release and repatriation of 14 Sudanese prisoners who had been detained in Chad for over two and a half years in connection with the conflict in Sudan. The report further noted that two Italian monks “who had been captured in March by the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) were handed over to the ICRC delegation in Addis Ababa on 18 August. The ICRC subsequently entrusted them to representatives of the Holy See in Ethiopia.” 
ICRC, Annual Report 1986, Geneva, 1987, pp. 24–27.
ICRC
The ICRC’s 1988 Annual Report documented the release and repatriation of almost 4,000 people, most of whom had been detained in Ethiopia and Somalia for nearly 11 years. The ICRC had been trying since 1984 to persuade the two governments to repatriate all prisoners of war, with priority being given to the seriously wounded and sick in accordance with Articles 109, 110 and 118 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III. After hearing that an agreement had been signed between the two parties on 3 April 1988, the ICRC offered its services to organize the repatriation operation and this offer was accepted, with the repatriation of prisoners who wished to return being carried out in August 1988. 
ICRC, Annual Report 1988, Geneva, 1989, pp. 25–26.
ICRC
It has been reported that between October and December 1991, the ICRC participated in a multilateral negotiating commission, meeting almost daily in Zagreb to discuss, among other issues, the release of prisoners between Croatia and the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA). 
UN Secretary-General, Report pursuant to Security Council resolution 721 (1991), UN Doc. S/23280, 11 December 1991, p. 7, § 18.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 1992 in the context of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ICRC confirmed that it had “evacuated on 1 October [1992] 1,560 people from Trnopolje camp … to a reception centre … where they were handed over to staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 92/27, Bosnia Herzegovina: ICRC evacuates 1,560 people from Trnopolje camp, 2 October 1992.
ICRC
Following the 2000 Agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the ICRC repatriated 360 Ethiopian and 359 Eritrean prisoners of war on 23 and 24 December 2000. In addition, the ICRC repatriated to Ethiopia 1,414 civilian internees of Ethiopian origin. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 00/50, Ethiopia/Eritrea: the ICRC has repatriated prisoners of war and civilian internees, 24 December 2000.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 2000 in the context of the conflict in Western Sahara, the ICRC stated that it had repatriated 201 Moroccan prisoners released by the Polisario Front on 14 December 2000. It added, however, that it remained concerned by the plight of the 1,481 Moroccans still held captive and that it viewed the repatriation as a step towards the release of all prisoners. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 00/46, Morocco/Western Sahara: 201 Moroccan prisoners released and repatriated, 14 December 2000.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 2002 in the context of the conflict in Western Sahara, the ICRC stated that on 7 July 2002, it had repatriated 101 Moroccan prisoners released by the Polisario Front. It added, however, that it remained concerned by “the plight of the 1,260 Moroccans still held captive and views the repatriation as a step towards the release of all prisoners”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 02/38, Morocco/Western Sahara: 101 Moroccan prisoners released and repatriated, 7 July 2002.
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A)
The Report on SPLM/A Practice states that, “because the Sudan Government does not recognize the SPLM/A and can’t negotiate with it directly, the SPLM/A has on many occasions and through third parties including the ICRC released prisoners of war and allowed them to go to Government areas”. 
Report on SPLM/A Practice, 1998, Chapter 5.4.